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Country Music Claims Most-Played Artist Of The Decade

Our Country

I've written numerous times over the past year about how country is the powerhouse of the music world these days. In an industry that's facing no shortage of challenges, country music continues to stand out and chug along.

Sure, Nashville's seen its own share of dips and valleys, but for the most part, it's continuing to churn out tunes, packed venues, and Taylor Swift-sized personalities with daunting regularity in the face of a recession.

And here's yet another piece of information to support country's strength. According to Nielsen BDS--the service which tracks and reports all airplay of songs on radio, TV, and Internet--a country musician had the most airplay of any artist, in any genre, in the past decade.

Which musician are we talking about? Well, there are certainly plenty of country entertainers with mega-amounts of airplay under their Stetsons, so this might be a tough one to guess.

However, in this case--the winner is Tim McGraw. The singer, actor, and husband to Faith Hill's airplay numbers are truly staggering: He racked up a mind-boggling 7,965,000 radio spins over the period spanning January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009. This ranks him ahead of such chart toppers as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Britney Spears.

Nielsen presented McGraw with a commemorative plaque to mark the feat, with company president Eric Weinberg commenting, "[McGraw's] career and songs have resonated not only with his fans, but has become part of the fabric of America, evidenced by his unprecedented airplay." Not a bad way to put it, eh?

Aside from this latest accolade, McGraw has plenty to boast about regarding his work in the entertainment field. Since he debuted in the early '90s, he's sold more than 40 million albums; scored 30 number-one hits; and has three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, and 10 American Music Awards to his name.

Additionally, he's nailed down a solid screen career--his latest project is the upcoming Country Strong, costarring Gwyneth Paltrow, which will be released in December.

Congratulations, Tim! Thanks for doing country music proud.

Were you surprised to hear that Tim McGraw was the most-played artist of the decade--out of all musical genres? Be sure to give me your thoughts!

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