Music-industry bible Billboard magazine has just released its list of the top artists of 2010, and it's got some great news for country music fans. Although country music didn't take the top slot this year--a feat it boasted in 2009--two country artists did make the top 5.
Taylor Swift, who led the list last year--and was the only country artist in the top 5--fell to second place in 2010. Who was able to beat out Big Machine's biggest machine of all for the top position this year? Arguably the only artist out there able to do so at the moment--pop powerhouse Lady Gaga. (Incidentally, Gaga was No. 3 in 2009.)
Swift shouldn't feel too bad about "only" making No. 2. Her placing on the list marks the first time an act has been one of the top two artists in successive years in almost a decade (Destiny's Child placed No. 1 in both 2000 and 2001). As for solo artists, not groups, Billboard noted that nobody's done this since Garth Brooks (No. 1 in 1992 and 1993). So, rest assured, this is indeed another satsifying notch in Taylor's very, very long belt.
Meanwhile, crossover sensations Lady Antebellum entered the list at No. 4, just behind yet another highly successful crossover, hip-hop's Eminem. Lady A is the highest-ranking group on the top artist list--and according to Billboard, this is the very first time a country act is the biggest group of the year.
If these two massive accolades to the genre weren't enough, country music did extremely well overall in the Billboard top artist tally. Country artists claimed 20 slots--in other words, a full fifth of the list. Notable placements included Carrie Underwood at No. 23 and the Zac Brown Band at No. 25. Jason Aldean pulled in at No. 36, four places ahead of country's 2010 "it" girl, Miranda Lambert at No. 40 (for what it's worth, Lambert's fiance, Blake Shelton, landed at No. 74). Darius Rucker beat out Kenny Chesney by one slot (53 and 54, respectively). ACAs new-artist phenom Easton Corbin made the list at No. 78, placing higher than Keith Urban who trailed slightly at No. 79. Buzz act the Band Perry rounded out the list at No. 100.
Billboard compiles its year-end charts based on artists' overall performances throughout the year. More detailed info on how the charts are constructed can be found here.
Not a bad showing at all for country, right? Do you think Taylor Swift should have taken the top slot yet again? What about Lady A--should they have done better than Eminem? Any other artists you think should have made the top of the list? Be sure to let me know what's on your mind!
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