Twenty-Two Defining Moments of the Decade in Country Music

The Ten-Year Timeline of the Events That Built Us

Think about an entire decade. That's 3,650 days of possibility. And in country music, it's been 3,650 days of very memorable moments. The kind that make history -- whether they are good or bad -- and paint a picture of who we were and who we've become.

1. 2009: Brooks & Dunn officially break up their country duo to pursue solo projects.

2. 2010: Carrie Underwood is the first woman in history to win the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year award twice.

3. 2010: CMT launches the first-ever CMT Artists of the Year event and celebrates inaugural honorees Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band.

4. 2011: The stage at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis collapses right before Sugarland was about to start their show. The stage landed on the fans closest to the front, killing seven people and injuring many others.

5. 2011: Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" wins a record-breaking five Grammy Awards.

Dan MacMedan

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31: Lady Antebellum poses with their award for Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals in the press room at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)

6. 2012: Florida Georgia Line quietly release "Cruise" to iTunes and sets in motion a whole new kind of country sound that receives a warm welcome from a new crop of fans.

Taylor Hill

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 01: Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line attends the 46th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 1, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

7. 2013: Carrie Underwood takes over for Faith Hill as the singer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme song with her “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night."

8. 2013: Blake Shelton and Ray Price get into a social media fight after Shelton claims, "Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa's music."

9. 2013: The classification of bro-country is born when New York Times music critic Jody Rosen coins the phrase.

10. 2014: Taylor Swift officially bids adieu to country and heads straight for pop music.


LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 23: Taylor Swift is seen performing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on October 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

11. 2014: Garth Brooks comes out of retirement for a full-fledged World Tour, kicking off three years of shows with an opening night in Chicago.

12. 2015: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert shock fans with their divorce.

13. 2015: Radio consultant Keith Hill tells Country Aircheck that female country artists are merely the tomato garnish in a salad of male artists. Female artists everywhere unite to prove him wrong.

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 01: (L-R) Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby of The Highwomen perform onstage for Loretta Lynn: An All-Star Birthday Celebration Concert at Bridgestone Arena on April 1, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for for Essential Broadcast Media, LLC)

14. 2016: The Dixie Chicks head out on their first North American tour in ten years.

15. 2016: Dolly Parton announces plans for her first major tour in 25 years.

Rick Kern

AUSTIN, TX - DECEMBER 06: Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton performs in concert during her 'Pure & Simple Tour' at the Frank Erwin Center on December 6, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)

16. 2017: The shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas kills 58 during the very beginning of Jason Aldean's headlining set.

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 6: A small group prays at a makeshift memorial with 58 white crosses, one for each victim, on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, October 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 1, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, killing 58 people and injuring more than 450. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

17. 2017: Taylor Swift sues and wins a case against a radio host for sexually assaulting her at an event. She is named one of Time's Silence Breakers.

18. 2018: Miranda Lambert becomes the most-awarded artist in the history of the ACM Awards.

Ethan Miller

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 15: Miranda Lambert accepts the Female Vocalist of the Year award during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

19. 2018: Luke Combs releases what becomes the unofficial song of the decade. His "Beautiful Crazy" was at No. 1 for seven weeks.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 17: Luke Combs performs onstage during the ATLIVE Concert 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

20. 2019: Kacey Musgraves wins the all-genre Grammy for album of the year for her Golden Hour. It's very rare for a mainstream country album to win: Swift won it in 2010, the Dixie Chicks in 2007 and Glen Campbell in 1969. His was the first country album to win in the category.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Kacey Musgraves poses in the press room with her awards for Best Country Solo Performance for 'Butterflies,' Best Country Song for 'Space Cowboy,' Best Country Album for 'Golden Hour,' and Album of The Year for 'Golden Hour,' during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)

21. 2019: Filmmaker Ken Burns takes on country music and wins with his Country Music eight-part documentary on PBS.

Steven Ferdman

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Ken Burns visits SiriusXM Studios on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

22. 2019: Kelsea Ballerini is invited to become the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

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