2010 Rewind: No. 1 — Nashville Floods, And Digs Out

It rained. And rained. And rained some more. Nashville took in over 13 inches of water in a 48-hour period in May, and some areas of the region were swamped with as much as 20 inches. It was more than the rivers and streams could handle, and by May 3, the drainage system was overflowing. The stage and much of the floor seating at the Grand Ole Opry House was covered, water seeped into one room at the Country Music Hall of Fame, LP Field — the site of the CMA Music Festival — became a swamp, and an instrument storage unit was drowned, destroying guitars and equipment owned by Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Toby Keith and Vince Gill, among others. It took a while for people to notice outside of Middle Tennessee. The focus of the major news organizations at the time was on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. So Music City rolled up its sleeves and started digging out on its own. The Nashville flood is No. 1 on the list as GAC concludes its countdown of the top country news stories of 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 2 — Taylor Swift Sells A Million

The recording industry has been in a tailspin for a decade as fans started buying digital singles instead of albums. In the middle of the business’ overall decline, Taylor Swift stepped in went on a one-woman incline, building a career in which she sells digital tracks and full albums by the millions. So when she got ready to put out her third project, Speak Now, the pre-release debate in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville was not just about whether the album would be any good, but also about how many copies she might sell in the first week. Most guesstimates put it in the range of 750,000-800,000 units as many executives believed the days of the one-million debut were gone. But Taylor did reach that plateau, selling 1.047 million copies the first week out. The accomplishment ranks No. 2 as GAC continues its countdown of the one dozen top stories in country music for 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 3 — Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Country’s “It” Couple

Next year is a decade since Blake Shelton released his first album, and there were years of grinding it out in Nashville even before that moment arrived. This year was seven years since Miranda Lambert first popped on the national radar in the TV contest “Nashville Star,” and while she was able to work as a developing and mid-level artist with her first two albums, it seemed as if she might never meld her critical acclaim with a similar level of commercial appreciation. All of that changed over the last 12 months for Blake and Miranda, who got engaged in May, then became the first couple in a decade to win Male and Female Vocalist of the Year in the same evening at the Country Music Association Awards in November. Blake and Miranda’s arrival as country’s “it” couple makes them the No. 3 entry as GAC counts down the one dozen biggest stories in country music from 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 4 — Lady Antebellum Blows Up Big

When Lady Antebellum wrote “Need You Now” in 2009, the band had no idea that the song was going to vault them into the same pop world inhabited by the other lady — Lady Gaga — in 2010. In fact, a lot of songwriters in Nashville thought “Need You Now” was a bold song — it was built around a drunken booty call, and since country radio stations are very attuned to offering family-friendly material, many Music Row writers were a bit shocked when the song caught on. And it caught on very quickly. Not only was it a multi-week No. 1 single at the end of ‘09, it also got picked up by pop stations who played it frequently throughout 2010, aiding a jump for the oddly-named trio into music’s big leagues. Lady Antebellum’s ascent ranks at No. 4 as GAC counts down the dozen biggest stories of country music from 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 5 — Brooks & Dunn Break Up

When they first came to national attention with “Brand New Man” in 1991, Brooks & Dunn were an unlikely combo — a couple of guys who moved to Nashville with dreams of becoming solo performers who were sort of glued together by a Music Row executive. By the time Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn wound it down with the Last Rodeo Tour in 2010, they had become the most commercially successful duo in country music history — better known than Country Music Hall of Famers the Louvin Brothers with more hits than Hall of Famers the Everly Brothers. The Brooks & Dunn breakup ranks No. 5 as GAC counts down the dozen top stories of the past year. Read More