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Beyond Nashville

Why has country music seen extraordinary success in the UK charts this year? Scott Mills explores how the genre has changed and grown on both sides of the pond.

Why has country music seen extraordinary success in the UK charts this year? Scott Mills explores how the genre has changed and grown on both sides of the pond.

BBC Radio 1 has been playing country music for the first time, as it has broken into the charts and collaborated with pop like never before. With artists, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton amongst the influx of country records being played.

And it’s not just American artists releasing country songs, the UK scene has blossomed too, but can UK country singers draw a crowd? Scott follows 21 year old country singer Catherine McGrath from her village pub roots in Northern Ireland, to headlining her first gig in London, and all the way to Nashville to perform with one of the biggest names in country pop, Hunter Hayes.

Over in Nashville, Scott Borchetta, the man who discovered Taylor Swift and Liz Rose, the woman who wrote all of her early country songs, offer their take on how the genre has changed since the days of Dolly Parton, and how country music’s young fan-base has grown since Taylor’s arrival 10 years ago.

Phil Christie, Head of Warner Music, gives his perspective on discovering a subculture of young country fans in the UK and John Marks, Head of Country for Spotify, tells us the influence of steaming, play-listing, and algorithms - revealing country music is no longer what you might expect.

Along the way Scott speaks to some of the biggest artists on today’s scene about how to write a bonafide global country hit, including Thomas Rhett, Dan & Shay, Devin Dawson, The Shires, Ward Thomas, Clare Bowen and The Wandering Hearts.

Release date:

9 months left to watch

32 minutes