2010: A Redneck Rewind
The clock has struck midnight, the ball has dropped, we are finding confetti in interesting places and the hangover is almost gone...this can mean only one thing. Happy New Year! If the past year is any indication, 2011 is going to be a great year for country music, but first, let's take a look back at some of the highlights of 2010.
If you are a fan of live music, you had plenty to keep you busy, WYRK kicked the year off with our winter acoustic show at UB starring James Otto, David Nail, and newcomers Easton Corbin and Steel Magnolia. Less than two weeks later, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins hit the stage at HSBC Arena. As summer rolled around, the country concert season was in full swing. Once again, the first show of the summer was the much anticipated Taste Of Country starring Billy Currington, Luke Bryan, Rodney Atkins, Joe Nichols, and of course Trailer Choir got up and rocked the beer gut to get the party started. Not even a torrential downpour could discourage the artists or 21,000 fans. Later that month Brad Paisley splashed into Darien Lake with his H2O tour with Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Josh Thompson, and Steel Magnolia. Following the H2O tour was Tim McGraw with Lady Antebellum, followed by the appropriately nicknamed 'Our Tour Can Kick Your Tour's Ass Tour' starring the Big Dog himself, Toby Keith. Joining Keith on the road was Trace Adkins, and James Otto (apparently, there was a height requirement to get on stage). Shows at Darien lake took a two week hiatus during the Erie County Fair, which welcomed Easton Corbin, Jamey Johnson, and Jason Aldean. Brooks & Dunn rode into town for their Last Rodeo and their last show in Buffalo as a duo (we hope they change their minds). After having to re-schedule from an earlier date due to illness, the crowd was fortunate to see a living legend, Merle Haggard open the show for B&D. Closing the Darien season was trio Rascal Flatts, celebrating ten years recording and on the road together. Summer may have come to an end, but fortunately the concerts kept rolling thanks to shows by both Jason Michael Carroll and Jimmy Wayne at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls. WYRK also hosted another acoustic show in the fall starring Danny Gokey, Steel Magnolia, and The Band Perry. The year was capped off with perhaps the most anticipated concert of the year, The King, George Strait took center stage at HSBC with friends Reba, and fellow Texan, Lee Ann Womack.
It is no surprise that the King and Queen of Country, George and Reba also had the top grossing country tour of 2010 raking in over $41.6 million, placing it at #14 overall, followed by Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw at $40.7 and $39.1 million respectively. Other country tours in the Top 50 were Carrie Underwood - $38.3 million, Taylor Swift - $34.2 million, Rascal Flatts – $28.9 million, Brooks & Dunn - $25.7 million, Toby Keith - $25.5 million, Sugarland - $19 million. Number one overall was Bon Jovi cashing out at a cool $108.2 million (numbers courtesy of Pollstar, and are for US shows)
While there were plenty of concerts to see this year, there was also no shortage of great music released in 2010, there were also quite a few surprises when it came to hit songs and awards. Lady A led the way with the top selling country album, 'Need You Now' (according to Nielsen SoundScan), Taylor Swift followed in the number two and three spots with her albums 'Fearless' and 'Speak Now'. At number four was, Carrie Underwood's 'Play On', Zac Brown Band's 'The Foundation' at number five, Lady Antebellum made the list again at number six with their self-titled debut album which is still selling well. Miranda Lambert started a 'Revolution' at the seven spot, number eight was Jason Aldean's 'Wide Open', followed by Tim McGraw's 'Southern Voice' and Sugarland's 'The Incredible Machine' rounding out the top ten.
While the ladies had a great year with albums, the guys scored a shutout for the Top 10 Songs of 2010, here they are 1-10 (according to Nielsen BDS):
Lee Brice – 'Love Like Crazy', Luke Bryan – 'Rain Is A Good Thing', Josh Turner – 'Why Don'te Just Dance', Josh Turner – 'All Over Me', Chris Young – 'The Man I Want To Be', Easton Corbin – 'Roll With It', Joe Nichols – 'Gimme That Girl', Blake Shelton – 'All About Tonight, Darius Rucker – 'Come Back Song', and Clay Walker – 'She Won't Be Lonely Long'.
Love was in the air in 2010 and there was obviously enough to go around, let's start with engagements and work up from there. The big one is country couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, I'm sure that at this time next year we will be talking about their wedding as the party of the year. Also getting engaged this past year was Kellie Pickler to songsmith Kyle Jacobs, Keith Anderson and Lauren Woodruff, Shania Twain to Frederic Thiebaud, LeAnn Rimes to Eddie Cibrian, and Gloriana's Cheyenne Kimball to songwriter Casey Twist.
Exchanging the big 'I-Do's' this year were Carrie Underwood to Ottawa Senator Mike Fisher, Trailer Choir's Marc 'Butter' Fortney to Emily Robertson, one-third of Carter's Chord. Love and Theft frontmen must have tried for a group discount as Brian Bandas married Kelly Barons, and Eric Gunderson wed Emily Hagar.
The country world welcomed a few more people into the family as quite a few artists added a little one to the family. John Rich and wife Joan welcomed son Cash Rich into the world in January, Justin Moore and wife Kate had Ella Kole Moore, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook gave birth to Elijah Dylan. Luke Bryan and wife Caroline gave son Bo a little brother, Tate. James Otto nearly had to leave Darien Lake before the show ended to get back to Nashville to welcome his first child Ava Katherine into the world. Otto's brother-in-law, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and wife Allison had Madeline Leigh, bandmate Joe Don Rooney and his wife Tiffany gave birth to Raquel Blue, and Josh Turner and wife Jennifer had their third son, while we don't know his name yet, we are pretty sure he is going to have a pretty deep voice.
Of course with the good ,comes the bad and unfortunately there were also a few divorces. Billy Ray Cyrus' wife Trish is finally sick of cleaning mullet out of the shower drain and the two are headed for a split. Also parting ways are Randy Travis and his manager/wife Elizabeth, Eddie Montgomery and Tracy. LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain obviously didn't waste much time since they were both divorced from Dean Sheremet and Robert 'Mutt' Lange, respectively, and are already re-married in just under one year.
There were plenty of awards to go around, especially with the addition of a brand new awards show, The American Country Awards. Miranda Lambert received a birthday gift she will never forget as she walked away with three CMA trophies, for Female Vocalist, Album and Video of the Year. Just so there was no jealousy soon to be hubby, Blake Shelton won Male Vocalist of the year, making them the first couple to win both Male and Female Vocalist Awards since Tim McGraw and Faith Hill did back in 2000. Brad Paisley deservedly took home the Entertainer of The Year Award. Most will agree that the highlight of the night was when Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, and Loretta Lynn took the stage together to perform 'Coal Miner's Daughter', an homage to Lynn's 50 year career.
Closing out the year was Garth Brooks making his triumphant return to Music City for a 6 day, 9 show run at the Bridgestone Arena. In a day of ridiculous ticket prices, Brooks made these show affordable for any fan, only $25 for any seat in the house. Over $10 million was donated to fund relief for the Nashville Flood earlier in the year which nearly destroyed many landmarks.
Hopefully your year was as much fun as ours, we cannot wait to see what is in store for us in 2011. Thank you to all of the WYRK listeners for making it a great year for us. We really cannot thank you enough, we do this all for you. We'll see ya around town and at the shows!