(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Blake Shelton has a theory. I don't know if I agree with it, but I'll share it with you anyway. When Cowboys & Indians magazine asked him if he thought that country was the new pop, he said yes.
"You see, with country music, there's two things about it," Shelton explained. One, he said, "Lyrically, country music is so in-depth. There are writers who spend days, weeks, months, sometimes a year on one song. And making sure they're writing something special. Sure, sometimes it might only take 15 minutes. But they're always making sure they're writing something that connects with people. It's not about a gimmick. It's about things that are relatable for people that they can understand -- it's not over their heads."
And two, Shelton added, is that musically, it's not over anybody's head. "It's easy to sing along to, and it's easy to understand. When you're in your car and you're driving from work back home, you don't want to think too hard about what you're listening to on the radio. You want to smile or have a moment when you go back to something in your life that you like to remember. I think with pop and rock these days the music gets away from that a little bit."
So maybe that's why Shelton thinks country is becoming the most popular: because pop music isn't making people smile as much. And it'd be tough for country fans to argue with that.