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Country+music+has+been+growing+in+popularity+over+the+past+few+years+and+now%2C+pop+musicians+are+helping+to+further+this+phenomenon.+With+country+albums+from+artists+like+Beyonc%C3%A9%2C+Dasha+and+Lana+Del+Rey%2C+the+music+genre+is+only+continuing+to+expand+its+fanbase.
Andie Korenge
Country music has been growing in popularity over the past few years and now, pop musicians are helping to further this phenomenon. With country albums from artists like Beyoncé, Dasha and Lana Del Rey, the music genre is only continuing to expand its fanbase.

Pop singers help grow country music’s popularity

Country music has been gaining prominence among younger generations for some time, and with the turn of 2024, even pop musicians seem to be “going country.” The genre’s streaming growth has been steadily increasing since 2020 and younger listeners are largely to credit.

It was reported by Luminate that 50% of the average listenership of country artists like Morgan Wallen, Zach Bryan and Luke Combs was composed of Gen Z and millennials in 2022. In 2023, Wallen released a new album, “One Thing at a Time,” which earned the biggest opening week numbers of the year, reached number one on the album charts and managed to have all 36 of its songs make it onto Billboard’s Hot 100. Wallen’s success is a clear display of country music’s rising popularity.

With this, pop-country music has gained prominence, as new artists make music within this genre, and already established pop artists put their own spin on it. Beyoncé is by far the most popular example of this and has slightly experimented with country in the past. On her 2016 album “Lemonade,” the singer released the song “Daddy Lessons” which was her first attempt at making music within the genre.

For this year’s Super Bowl, Beyoncé did an ad with Verizon during which she released two new songs, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” as well as shared details of a new album. The album, which will drop on March 29, is called “Act II: Cowboy Carter” and is a country album. Beyonce is, after all, originally from Texas and is in many ways paying homage to her roots via these songs. In fact, both “Daddy Lessons” and “Texas Hold ‘Em” make mention of Texas, while both “Daddy Lessons” and “16 Carriages” are about her upbringing.

Following Beyoncé’s huge announcement, fans began streaming both of her new releases, as well as “Daddy Lessons” once more. On Feb. 12, the song’s streams had even gone up 370% from the previous Monday. Still, in making country music, Beyoncé has not at all abandoned her signature style. Instead, she incorporates country elements into her already distinct sound, which encompasses elements of pop, R&B, hip-hop and soul music.

Beyoncé is not the only acclaimed musician to have announced the release of a country album this year; pop singer Lana Del Rey did the same on Jan. 31 at the Billboard and National Music Publishers’ Association Songwriter Awards. Her new album, which is fittingly called “Lasso,” is expected to release in September. Del Rey has since teased the song “Henry, Come On” on Instagram and tagged Luke Laird, a writer and producer known to work with country artists.

Plenty of Del Rey’s songs have country inspired lyrics, but none have completely embraced the country sound. Luckily, she has covered numerous country songs including “Stand By Your Man,” by Tammy Wynette, and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” by John Denver, which have given fans an idea of what “Lasso” may sound like. Judging by these covers, the album will be country-infused rather than full on country, as she maintains her poetic pop sound.

Dasha, the 23-year-old singer and songwriter who went viral on TikTok, has also contributed to this new wave of country music. Dasha just released her second album “What Happens Now?” in February of this year, through which she officially established herself as a country singer, after having experimented with pop and R&B in the past.

Prior to this album’s release, in November of 2023, Dasha dropped a single from the album, “Austin,” which became extremely popular on TikTok. This catchy, pop-infused country song tells the story of a relationship gone wrong and has single handedly shown people the appeal of country music. Reaching number one on the Spotify U.S. Viral 50 chart, the song even has its own line dance, which Dasha herself unveiled. The dance has since become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon and has been replicated thousands of times.

Seeing as country music has been growing in popularity, Beyoncé, Del Rey and Dasha’s new music within the genre is only further aiding its growth. Introducing new listeners–especially within younger generations–to country music, the artists are helping to grow the public’s appreciation for the genre. With other singers like Post Malone already having country albums in the works, or plans to make one in the future, this trend should only continue to persevere in pop culture.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Hamm, Reporter
Sophia Hamm is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She is an All Star Cheerleader and she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends.
Andie Korenge, Feature Editor
Andie Korenge is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Feature Editor for Eagle Eye News. She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.
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