Happy new year, everyone! Twenty-ten promises to be as exciting a year for country music as was 2009--how could it not be, what with all the anticipation last year's round of crazy incidents set up?
Gather 'round, country fans, as I take a look into my crystal ball and make a few predictions for Nashville 2010. (Disclaimer: This is harmless and hopefully amusing speculation on the part of your country blogger, not meant to be taken as any true psychic ability.)
1) Kanye West will make some sort of artistic collaborative effort with Taylor Swift. The hatchet will be buried formally; a pop (compromise between hip-hop and country) duet or performance at some highly publicized event will occur between the two.
2) Speaking of Taylor--She will sweep the Grammys at the end of January. At this point she will be officially saturated with every important musical accolade possible except the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.
3) At least one bona fide hip-hop star will make a stab at releasing a credible 100% country album. It will flop dismally with country fans, but said hip-hop star will make the rounds of every country awards show this year. I can't even begin to guess who will actually do this, because I'm absolutely certain it will be an artist completely out of left field and not one who has already made forays into Nashville relations.
4) Shania Twain will finally finish and release a new record. Her appearance on American Idol will finally provide the impetus to finish an album, and I will guess it will lean far more country than pop, with a melancholy bent.
5) Garth Brooks will also release a new record. Which I predict will receive mixed critical reviews, but will serve as enticing material for his Vegas residency.
6) Brooks & Dunn will call off their retirement plans. Or, at least postpone them in favor of substantially extending their final tour.
7) Kenny Chesney will sink further into retirement, choosing a much lower-profile focus on expansion of his brand (clothing line, internet radio, etc.).
8) Carrie Underwood's wedding dress will throw all good taste out the window and be a fairy-tale princess's dream, enormous enough to cover the Magic Kingdom in its wake.
9) LeAnn Rimes will not marry Eddie Cibrian. She will not reunite with Dean Sheremet, either. Dean's future remains to be seen, but I predict he'll pop up as a b-list actor sometime sooner than later. (Or begin dating Adam Lambert. Or--even better--LeAnn will attempt to woo Adam herself.)
But, you probably guessed all of these yourselves, right? Let's hear your predictions for the year--lay 'em on me.
As always, be sure to: