2010 Rewind: No. 6 — Carrie Underwood Gets Married

Carrie Underwood’s mix of stunning vocal power and well-conceived production made her concert tour one of the best of 2010. Added to her history as an “American Idol” winner and a consistent hitmaker, it’s little wonder that country music’s all-American girl is also one of the genre’s most-intriguing personalities off the stage, too. Thus, her marriage this summer to hockey player Mike Fisher was one of the most-celebrated nuptials of the entire year, coming in at No. 6 on the GAC countdown of the one dozen top stories in country during 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 7 — Tim McGraw, Ryan Bingham Lead Country At The Movies

From Crazy Heart to Country Strong, Hollywood and Nashville were tightly linked in 2010. Tim McGraw, Julianne Hough, Trace Adkins and Carrie Underwood all went in front of the cameras. And artists as diverse as Ryan Bingham, Billy Currington, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney got their music on the big screen in one way or another. Country’s role in a large number of movies ranks No. 7 in GAC’s countdown of the dozen top stories of 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 8 — Jimmy Wayne’s Long Walk For Homeless Teens

At this time a year ago, Jimmy Wayne was putting in a bit of lat-minute training as he made plans for a journey that had all kinds of potential pitfalls he could not completely anticipate. He announced just before Christmas 2009 that he intended to walk halfway across America — from Nashville to Phoenix — to raise awareness for the issue of homeless teens. Jimmy did indeed set off on his Meet Me Halfway walk on New Year’s Day with Middle Tennessee windchills appropriately in… the teens, and his excursion became one of the most unusual pursuits of 2010. It stands at No. 8 as GAC counts down the one dozen top country news stories of the past 12 months. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 9 — Chely Wright Comes Out

There were plenty of skeptics when Chely Wright became the first star with a commercially successful history in country music to publicly announce she was gay. “She’s doing it to sell a book,” some said. “She’s doing it to sell an album.” “She’s trying to revive her career.” Her associates did, in fact, persuade Chely to wait until she had a product to hawk before she came out. But that didn’t change the fact that her decision to reveal her sexuality was a huge moment in country music and a huge personal moment for her. Chely’s public confession is the No. 9 entry in GAC’s countdown of country music’s dozen biggest stories of 2010. Read More

2010 Rewind: No. 10 — Loretta Lynn’s 50th Leads Legends

It was quite a year for the Coal Miner’s Daughter — 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of Loretta Lynn’s emergence as a national star, and she was honored in a slew of ways, including parties, awards and a tribute album by some of today’s top artists. Loretta was joined by several other legends as 2010 honorees, including Merle Haggard, Jimmy Dean and now Dolly Parton. The recognition paid to the genre’s pioneering acts represents the No. 10 entry in our countdown of country music’s dozen top stories of the year. Loretta’s first single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” came out in 1960, and it seemed like every few months during 2010, the music business found some way to pay homage to her impact. Early in the year, she was accorded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, though she was unable to attend the Los Angeles ceremony. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was added to the National Recording Registry, she was saluted with an anniversary party at her Tennessee home, she was celebrated with a Reba McEntire-hosted Recording Academy Salute at the Ryman Auditorium, and a bunch of her classics were remade in the album Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn. That latter project brought Loretta the opportunity to sing the title track with Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow on the Country Music Association Awards. The album also features Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, the White Stripes, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood, among others. Loretta hand-picked all of the contributors — appropriate, because she’s not one of those veteran stars who dislikes newer versions of country music. Read More