News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

When the clock struck 9 p.m., students gathered as the prom king and queen were announced: Jacob Moreo and Beth Siersma!
The end of an era: Prom 2024
Olivia Cooks, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS, CA -- Los Alamitos High School hosted its 2024 junior and senior prom at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center...

 Its time for the class of 2024 to enter their adulthood and close the chapter to their high school career.  Seniors are finishing up their end of the year strong with all of their favorite activities and spending time with their friends.
Seniors' thoughts on the end of the school year
Layla Martinez, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS CA -- As the school year of 2024 wraps up, seniors are having mixed feelings about whether or not they are looking forward to graduation...

A group of graduates throw their cap in the air, celebrating the completion of an important milestone.
How to be photo-ready for graduation
Nandi Smith, Editor • May 20, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS, CA – Graduation for the Los Alamitos High School class of 2024 is fast-approaching. The special event is Tuesday, June 4 at Dignity...

Is country music taking over the music industry?

As Morgan Wallen breaks barriers in the music industry, the world has begun shifting toward Western tunes. With artists such as Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, and Beyoncé dipping their toes into country music, a question arises: Is country music taking over?
According+to+the+Country+Music+Association%2C+51%25+of+U.S.+adults+listen+to+country+music.
Olivia Cooks
According to the Country Music Association, 51% of U.S. adults listen to country music.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — The hootin’ and hollerin’ good times begin when country music starts playing, so throw on some boots and a stetson and get to line dancing! Thanks to artists like Morgan Wallen, Western tunes have finally made a comeback in the music industry — topping the charts for the first time in 40 years. 

The genre has grown 22% in consumption over the first eight months of 2023, according to Luminate — a provider of music and entertainment data — and has only risen since then. Country music is finding millions of new listeners, millennials and Gen Z, which is a cause for the surge in popularity. This recognition by younger generations is increasing the streams and reputation of various country artists working on building a name for themselves in the industry. 

“I like country music because of the way it talks about people like actual human[s]. Country music talks about girls and people in general with more respect and raises a standard on how someone should be treated,” said a sophomore at Los Alamitos High School.

The genre has become even more popular than hip-hop and R&B, with its only competitor being pop music. According to the Country Music Association, there has been a 9% listener growth, each percent leading to a build-up in numbers, creating a shift in the music industry and taking the spotlight away from pop genre artists — the current dominant artists in this field. 

With country music’s recent mainstream popularity, it seems like artists from different genre landscapes are dipping their toes into the country scene. 

Pop and rap superstar Post Malone teamed up with Morgan Wallen and HARDY to perform Joe Diffie’s “Pickup Man” at the 2023 CMA Awards.

Backstage at the awards, Access Hollywood asked Malone if he was working on a country album, to which he answered, “I think so… yes.” Likewise, Malone is featured on HARDY’s upcoming “Hixtape Vol. 3: Difftape” (releasing March 29).

Pop star Ed Sheeran also teased a potential country transition. During rehearsals for the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards, Sheeran told Billboard that he would “love to transition into country.”  During the awards, he performed a collaboration with country star Luke Combs on “Life Goes On.”

Most surprisingly, Beyoncé, the owner of the most Grammy wins ever, shook the music industry when she began her country era with two country-inspired new songs, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” The new songs have made it to Apple Music’s top country songs chart, and “Texas Hold ‘Em” holds the first spot on Spotify’s country playlist.

It’s such a feel-good type of music. It scratches an itch no other genre can reach and promotes a family-oriented, slow lifestyle.”

— Nikki Orr, senior

Rising country artists Bailey Zimmerman, HARDY, Morgan Wallen, and current stars like Luke Combs and Zach Bryan are leading the takeover.

Morgan Wallen is particularly dominating the genre and charts because “Last Night” became the number one streamed song on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End 2023 chart and the longest-running number one country song in Billboard Hot 100 history. Unsurprisingly, the Tennessee native’s album “One Thing At A Time” has also stood number one for essentially the entirety of 2023, still topping the charts in 2024 since its release in March of 2023.

Wallen’s success is not transient, as he is the current Second Top Artist on Billboard Hot 100 as of March 2, 2024 and has been moving between number one and two since January 2023, with many more record-breaking pieces to come. 

“It’s amazing that country is getting more recognition because I think most people don’t give it a chance,” said Milly Verdugo, a senior at Los Al.

While Wallen prepares his next chart-topper, he will begin touring on his second leg of the One Night At A Time Tour from April to August, hitting multiple states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and more. Unfortunately, he will not be returning to California this time.

Morgan Wallen performed at his show in Columbus, Ohio in 2023. (Hunter Hinkle)

Though country concerts are becoming more popular, they are also more challenging to afford. Although an average country concert ticket is around $150, general admission pit tickets for Morgan Wallen’s tour are $699.75, or $2,600 for resale tickets in Nashville (since you’re probably not getting a ticket the first time around). 

“I’m sad concert tickets are becoming more expensive because less people will be able to go, but at least musicians can make more profit and continue to succeed,” Verdugo said.

Because country music has soared in popularity in recent years, this creates a higher demand, so venues, artists, and resellers can charge more for concert tickets.

“Country music is traditionally performed in smaller honky-tonk-type venues and keeping it small is what makes it so special,” Nikki Orr, a senior at Los Al, claimed.

The genre regularly thrives in live music spaces, such as Nashville’s bars, but before 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, country music had little impact on streaming platforms and charts. In the last few years, though, country has returned stronger than ever. There has been a larger turnout at concerts, and it looks like country will have another big year in 2024 as collaborations and new albums are expected to be released.

With its heartfelt lyrics, catchy melodies, and beautifully told stories, more and more individuals are finding themselves drawn to country music. Artists such as Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, and Zach Bryan are topping the charts and bringing the genre to a wider audience. Therefore, it’s no surprise that country music is on the rise and gaining popularity in the music industry.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Cooks
Olivia Cooks, Staff Writer
Olivia is a senior at Los Al, and this is her first year as a staff writer in Journalism. She loves to hang out with friends, go to thrift shops in L.A., listen to music, and go to concerts in her free time. Olivia is interested in writing articles about sports and important events.
Layla Martinez
Layla Martinez, Staff Writer
Layla Martinez is a senior at Los Alamitos High School and is a staff writer for the Griffin Gazette. Layla enjoys going to record stores and thrifting in her free time. Layla is passionate about writing reviews and covering different pop culture topics and hopes to challenge her writing abilities this year.  

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  • K

    Katie ArnoultMar 14, 2024 at 11:31 am

    Congrats on the Best of SNO award!!! This article is amazing!

    Reply
  • J

    Jaya EapenMar 6, 2024 at 9:50 pm

    Wow! This article was super interesting because I was wondering about the new increase of artists switching to country. Good job guys this article is really good!

    Reply
  • E

    Ella SuosMar 6, 2024 at 11:19 am

    I’m glad it is!

    Reply
  • O

    Owen SilvermanMar 5, 2024 at 5:04 pm

    This article is awesome — good job, y’all. It was interesting reading about the major artists who are potentially switching to country music and the ones who are already thriving in the genre.

    Reply