Category Archives: Country Pop

What Happened to Faith Hill?

Faith_Hill-CountryMusicRocks.net_When you were young, who was your favorite country artist to listen to? Some may say Garth Brooks, George Strait, or Shania Twain (who were all popular during the 1990s), but ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed listening to Faith Hill and her pop style of country music. Usually my dad is the one who introduces me to different genres of music because of his passion for the music industry, but it was actually my mom who first introduced me to country music. She always used to put on Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, or Shania Twain in the car wherever we would go. But lately, I haven’t heard much of Faith Hill, which saddens me because, at the time, she was my role model.

Faith Hill is known as one of the most successful country artists of all time having sold over 40 million records worldwide, with several number 1 hits throughout her entire career. Hill got started in the music industry quite early, performing at local churches and rodeos in Ridgeland, Mississippi. But by the age of 19 Hill had really found a passion for country music as she decided to drop out of school and move to Nashville to pursue her life long dream of becoming a famous country singer. There she debuted her first album Take Me as I Am, released in 1993, and her song “Wild One,” which soared to the top of Billboard’s charts for a month straight…This ultimately kick started Hill’s career.

10705By the time that Hill was becoming increasingly popular, she decided to come out with a second album in 1995 titled It Matters to Me. During this time of her career, she began touring and ended up meeting the famous country singer Tim McGraw, and the two have been married ever since.

GTY_tim_mcgraw_faith_hill_jef_140618_16x9_992At the turn of the century, Faith Hill became more interested in the mainstream, pop-oriented sound of country music. This is the period of time where most of my favorite Faith Hill songs come from, such as “This Kiss,” “Breathe,” and “The Way You Love Me,” simply because of the catchy music, the romantic lyrics, and the popularity of each song. “This Kiss” became an automatic country hit with more than 6 million copies of the album being sold.

“Breathe” debuted at the top of the Billboard Country and all genre charts in 1999 as well as on the Billboard Top 100 Chart in 2000.

Not to mention, “The Way You Love Me” charted in the top 10 in 2000 as well!

This was Hill’s big breakthrough as an artist as this album Breathe won her 3 Grammys for the Best Country Album, the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, and the Best Country Female Vocal Performance, as well as an American Music Award for Favorite Country Album.

Since then, Faith Hill has created a name for herself as “the girl next door.” She gives off that sexy image, but yet is still inspiring to young girls like me who were listening to her number 1 hits at this time across all media platforms. Hill was also said to have influenced Taylor Swift as she was her “idol since [she] saw her on both VH1 and CMT…”gal-cmt-07-jpg

Faith Hill has always been one of my favorite country female artists because of her inspirational songs, and her positive presence in the spotlight. It’s a shame that she has stopped creating such catchy and fun music for her fans, but regardless, she will always be the one I remember when I think of my first experience with country music.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Country Pop, Women

Fitting Country into College

Editor’s note: This is an example of Blog Post #5.

There’s not much free time when it comes to your sophomore year of college, sometimes it seems like your professors are piling on the work just for the fun of it. But I somehow managed to fit in a few country themed events this semester. So without further ado, in no particular order, are my top three fun country themed events from the first semester of my sophomore year of college.

  1. IMG_9315Brad Paisley Concert (and it was for free!)
    Apparently one of the perks of going to the best University’s in the world is getting to see one of your favorite country stars for FREE. The weather wasn’t the best, in fact it was pretty gross, with 10 inch thick humid air hitting me like a brick, but somehow I still had fun. The best part by far was watching Brad Paisley perform and seeing the UT Tower in the background. It definitely made me realize how great this school is and how much I love the influence country music has on this state.
  1. On Wednesdays, we watch Nashville
    Two words: Rayna James. And five more: I wish I was her. This show is ADDICTING y’all. The producers have managed to keep almost all of the scenarios relatable and realistic, but yet it’s about a country music superstar and the other superstars that surround her? Props to them. The star power of Rayna, Luke Wheeler, Juliet Barnes, and all of the other fictional country music singers on the show are counterbalanced by the raw talent of Rayna’s daughters, Daphne and Maddie. Between their sound and the musical styling’s of Deacon Claiborne, these characters keep the show grounded and bring country music back to its roots. It’s great to hear pop country sounds mixed in with the sweet sound of just a voice and guitar.
  1.  Surprise! I went two- stepping.
    This actually isn’t very surprising since this is Texas, but still fun nonetheless. When someone suggests going two-stepping, I’m always immediately on board. This isn’t to say I’m good at it. In fact, I spent most of the night tripping over myself and elbowing a lot of people in the face, but it was so worth it. Honestly, “dancing” around in circles and laughing at how ridiculous I looked compared to the country-dancing veterans was one of the most entertaining things I did all semester.

10641040_777644538959654_1514473168129487529_nSo there you have it, proof that I did leave my room/library this semester. And to say it was worth it would be an understatement. I learned a lot too, that country music isn’t just Luke Bryan shaking his butt in a huge arena- it has roots dating back further than I even imagined. It’s grown and evolved and gradually transformed into the music I hear today. Luckily, all three of the things listed above helped further that understanding. I saw today’s country with Brad, got a mix of it with Nashville, and danced to all kinds of music in a way that generations of country music lovers have done before me. What could be better?


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 5, Concert, Country Pop, Dancing, Lists, Live Music, Movies and TV, Reflection, Texas

Bringing Back The Country In Miley Cyrus

Through the pits and peaks, highs and lows, and ups and downs, it is still evident that Miley Cyrus is musically talented. Starting her career at an early age, Cyrus has always been exposed to the music industry. People now recognize her as a trouble making, rule breaking, pop culture artist who always has her tongue sticking out. However, what some people may have forgotten is that somewhere deep within Cyrus’s heart lie her innate country roots.

miley!!!!@@!!Having Billy Ray Cyrus as a gene donor, Miley Cyrus was born with country in her blood. Many may not see it now, especially since Miley has done a 180 on her appearance both musically and physically, but Cyrus once was young country phenomenon.


Cyrus was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, otherwise known as the home of country music. She grew up on a family farm and lived a country life. Cyrus quickly adopted the love of country music by constantly being surrounded by country music icons, such as her own father, Billy Ray Cyrus, and her godmother, Dolly Parton.

For 5 years, Miley Cyrus devoted her time to having a hidden identity, known as the pop-singer Hannah Montana. Cyrus and her secret identity had a comedy sitcom on Disney Channel, Hannah Montana, which augmented Cyrus’ fame and fan base. Within the show, Cyrus oscillated between the characters of Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana and also between music genres of country and pop.

miley-cyrus-billy-ray-cyrus-dolly-parton-25-years-of-dollywood-jolene-duetIncluded in the show was Billy Ray Cyrus, who coincidentally played the role of her father. Sporadic musical performances by him and country guest appearance Dolly Parton, who also coincidentally played Miley’s godmother, demonstrated the importance of country music to the Cyrus family. It also spread the love of country music to the Disney Channel viewers.

Towards the end of the Hannah Montana series, the “Hannah Montana Movie” was released. Within the movie were country songs that became an instant hit. “Hoedown Throwdown” had kids and teenagers raving about and dancing along to the fast-pace, country banjo beat. On the other hand, “Butterfly Fly Away”, a duet by Miley and Billy Ray, had a slow guitar tone, sounding like a lullaby, that shined a light on the special relationship of a father and daughter, which is a common theme sung about in country music today. Although this duet was popular among the country crowd, their other father-daughter collaboration, “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” made it on the country charts and was nominated for CMT Music Award during the CMT Music Awards in 2008!

As years passed, Cyrus outgrew her Hannah Montana phase and wandered away from her country past. She chopped her hair and started living a life that her fans, and parents of fans, did not condone. Although this drastic change had led people to lose faith in her, Cyrus continues to prove them wrong by recording covers of songs by country legends. Cyrus’ cover of “Jolene” and her country-modified version of, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”, originally sung by Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan respectively, dropped several jaws. Cyrus continues to cover songs and put a country twist on them, alluring her past country fans and keeping them on their toes. Could this possibly foreshadow the direction of all of her musical productions?

Many think that Miley Cyrus’ pop culture music and lifestyle are just a phase and that soon she will snap out of this funk. Judging by the sounds of her current recordings and knowledge of history repeating itself, it may be destiny that Miley disposes of these habits and reverts to her original country ways.3977141851_378b02e767


Filed under Blog Post 4, Country Pop, Movies and TV

What I Grew Up To

Imagine every time you got into the car to go to a basketball practice, church or just out to dinner you knew exactly what to expect. Well, for my siblings and me, we did know what to expect. My dad would always play 3 country artists. I grew up in a small town in Maumelle, Arkansas and I can honestly say listening to these three country artists almost every day truly shaped sweet memories of my childhood.

  1. Garth Brooks

I know what you’re probably thinking… “Of course, who didn’t listen to him?”, but you’re right! To me, listening to Garth Brooks is a classic memory. Now, my dad and I tended to be a bit theatrical at times, so when it was just him and I in the car on the way to some event, we would always play “When the Thunder Rolls”. What a better song to play when you’re planning on acting and being all dramatic, right? I mean, really, who can’t resist to belt out and dance during the thunder parts of the song. The next most played Garth Brooks song was, of course, “The Dance”. My dad knew this one a lot better than I did, but I enjoyed it just as much.

  1. Dixie Chicks

Here we go, another wave of childhood memories come flooding back anytime I hear ANY of the Dixie Chicks songs. “Good Bye Earl” is still my jam until this day. While at the time, I only thought of it as a fun, upbeat song, I still bolt it out today knowing it is about domestic abuse. I think it’s a song that catches people’s attention and brings awareness to a serious issue. “Ready to Run” also deserves a huge honorable mention because my sisters and I use to act out that song all the time. While these are two of my favorites, every Dixie Chicks song that comes to mind has a unique place in my heart.

  1. Shania Twain

I saved good ole Shania for last because it’s a personal favorite. Her songs bring back probably the sweetest memories I have. Mainly because my dad belted out her songs louder than anyone, and if you knew my dad, you’d know why this was such a funny and entertaining site for me. “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel like a Woman” are easily my top two favorite songs by her. I mean, come on, can you imagine your father singing “let’s go girls” at the beginning of the song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and that not bringing a smile to your face? I didn’t think so.

63403_1612221839461_1793417_nNo matter what I tell people about my childhood from Arkansas, no story is told without mention of at least one of these country singers. That is how I know country music has touched my life and I have grown a genuine sentimental value from listening to it.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Country Pop, Dancing, Garth Brooks, Reflection, Women

Beloved Queen of Country Pop Bids Us Adieu: Shania Twain’s Farewell Tour

At 50 years old, Shania Twain has decided to put an end to her touring days, but there was no way she wasn’t going out with a bang. On October 27, Twain serenaded audiences one last time, as she performed her last concert of her career in her homeland of Canada.

In March of 2015, Twain announced her final journey of performances that would consist of 48 cities and be called “Rock This Country Tour”. Touring for the first time in over 10 years, the superstar traveled through both Canada and the U.S., dazzling fans with their favorite hits from various years and records. Her setlist included hits such as, “Come On Over,” “You’re Still The One,” and “Any Man Of Mine,” to name a few.

Though the touring has come to an end, Twain deserves major props for all that she has accomplished in country music through her impressive voice and outstanding songwriting abilities. She has made major strides for women in the industry, receiving five Grammy Awards, 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, induction into the Canada Music Hall of Fame, and even secured a headlining position for her show, “Still The One,” at Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace for two years. Her sassy and energetic persona is exuded through her fun, upbeat songs, as well as her midriff bearing appearance that she became well known for. She has also sold over 75 million albums worldwide.

The touring may have come to a halt, but Twain will continue to bring happiness to her fans as she plans to release a fifth album while she is still 50 years old. She may be done traveling but this is not the end of her career.

“It’s still me, it’s still my voice. The songwriting will be recognizable, but it’s much more introspective and it’s very autobiographical,” Twain said about her upcoming album. Fans are beyond excited to see what Twain’s got in store for her loyal followers that have kept her old songs in their repertoire for years, despite the lack of new releases from her. It will be interesting to see an older, more mature version of the pop country diva, as she is now in her 50’s, and has gone through much more heartbreak andTh hardship of life, through her brutal divorce involving her best friend stealing her man, as well as issues with her voice due to various illnesses.

Being a Shania Twain fan since I was a little girl, I am saddened to realized that one of my most valued role models is at the point in her career where she is done with touring, but am overjoyed to hear that we will still get to hear new music from her, and fall in love with the fierce and fun artist all over again, through her meaningful, and easy to adore songs.

Twain has meant so much to so many people over the years, whether it’s due to a memory of dancing to her hit, “You’re Still The One” at their wedding like my own parents, screaming “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” at every karaoke party, or blasting “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” in the car with your girlfriends. We can’t wait to see Twain come back better and stronger than ever.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Country Pop, Live Music