Country music is currently in a truly exciting place, as there is so much changing, while quite a bit stays the same (for better or worse). Women are having a big moment, earning serious love from the Grammys, while radio in that space continues to hold them back, at least in some regards. New acts are changing up styles and mixing country with hip-hop and electronic sounds and flows, while tried-and-true favorites of the style keep on delivering hits and twanging away.
Here’s a look at the most anticipated country albums coming in 2021.
Carrie Underwood – My Savior
American Idol champion Carrie Underwood scored a big win in 2020 with her first Christmas album My Gift, which ended up rising all the way to No. 5 on the Billboard 200. In addition to being a strong seller, the collection performed spectacularly on Bilboard’s Christian charts, and now the singer is aiming to repeat that feat with her next collection.
The star has already revealed that her next album My Savior will arrive in the spring, and it will feature mostly Christian and gospel compositions. It may also do well in the country space, as she remains an incredibly popular figure in the field.
Chris Lane – TBA
Originally released in 2019, Chris Lane’s single “Big, Big Plans” has turned out to be a slow burn, but also one of the biggest hits of his still-growing career. The singer-songwriter is surely going to capitalize off the cut’s success in 2021 by placing it on an album, though nothing concrete has been revealed just yet.
Dan + Shay – TBA
Dan + Shay made headlines and shocked many in the country industry when they released their single “10,000 Hours” with Justin Bieber in late 2019. The song instantly became a relatively rare top 10 smash for a country act, as it went to No. 4 on the Hot 100. They followed it up with “I Should Probably Go to Bed,” which just broke into the top 40 recently.
Both tunes are sure to be featured on the pair’s to-be-announced forthcoming fourth album.
Eric Church – TBA
Throughout 2020, Eric Church dropped single after single, earning two more top 40 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart with new fan favorites “Stick That in Your Country Song” and “Hell of a View.” Whenever a top-tier musician has two successful songs not attached to a project, it’s safe to assume something major is coming soon, and Church followers should expect an album in 2021.
Florida Georgia Line – Life Rolls On
Already one of the most successful country groups ever, Florida Georgia Line is set to have an amazing 2021. The duo’s new album Life Rolls On is slated to drop in February, and the two singles that have been shared ahead of the set’s street date have both been welcomed warmly by the country world.
In addition to their new project together, Brian Kelley revealed he intends on properly launching his solo career this year, though the pair made it very clear they have no desire to split up.
Morgan Wallen – Dangerous: The Double Album
The first major country album of 2021 is absolutely Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, which is scheduled to arrive just about one week into the new year. The set, his sophomore full-length (which is very full at 30 tracks) is almost sure to go right to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the rising talent his first leader and first top 10.
So far, two singles have been spun off of Dangerous: The Double Album, with one, “7 Summers,” breaking into the top 10 on the Hot 100, becoming a rare country smash in the process. At least four other tunes from the set have also appeared on the chart as well, making it a success before it’s even arrived.
Thomas Rhett – TBA
After moving on from his latest No. 1 album Center Point Road, Thomas Rhett didn’t waste any time in churning out new singles and beginning the next phase of his career. In 2020, the musician first made waves with his song “Be a Light,” which features Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Keith Urban and which was a success with both country and Christian audiences. He followed that up with “What’s Your Country Song,” another big win. Both tunes will likely precede another full-length, though there’s no word yet on when it may come.
Look Out For
The entire country music industry, as well as the rest of the music business, to be honest, is sure to closely watch what Kacey Musgraves does next, as she may be ready to try some new things. The star won Album of the Year at the Grammys with her set Golden Hour, making her one of only a handful of country acts to do so. Now, she’s been hinting that poppier music is coming…though whether she ventures far from her roots or not is yet to be seen.
Willie Nelson’s next album That’s Life is coming in February, and newcomer Parker McCollum could very well produce a full-length in 2021 as well, among many, many others.
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