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‘American Currents: State of the Music’ Opens at Country Music Hall of Fame

Featuring artists, musicians and songwriters who have shaped Country Music. Also, check out the free video presentation on March 19! (See below)

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will offer perspective on country music’s latest chapter with the opening of American Currents: State of the Music, on Friday, March 12. The exhibit runs through Feb. 6, 2022.

Presented annually, American Currents: State of the Music represents the ongoing research and analysis among curators and museum staff to determine the most significant developments in country music over the previous year.

“As a museum, we document and report on country music history – past and present. Each year through the American Currents: State of the Music exhibit, we explore the music and events that helped to shape it,” said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Amid a global health crisis, a renewed push for social justice, and more, the powerful role of country music and the stories told through it remained constant.”

Those recognized in this year’s exhibition through artifacts on display are: Gabby Barrett, Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Rissi Palmer, John Prine, Sister Sadie, Billy Strings and Eddie Stubbs.

The exhibit’s Unbroken Circle illustrates the connection between country music’s past and present by pairing artists with those who have influenced them or share musical perspectives. Those represented through artifacts are Jimmie Allen and Darius Rucker; Ingrid Andress and Faith Hill; Charley Crockett and Freddy Fender; and Dierks Bentley’s Hot Country Knights and the Statler Brothers’ Lester “Roadhog” Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys.

American Currents: State of the Music also features a video compilation of important country music moments from 2020, including clips of The Chicks, Maren Morris and Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton.

Within this exhibition, the museum also reports the past year’s chart-topping country albums, singles and highest-grossing tours as reported by Billboard and Pollstar by listing the names of those artists who were at the top of the charts. Included in this list for calendar year 2020 are Barrett (#1 single), Combs (#1 and #2 albums), Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber (#3 single), Lambert (#3 in ticket sales), Morris (#2 single), Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait (#1 in ticket sales), Blake Shelton (#2 in ticket sales) and Morgan Wallen (#3 album).

Country Music Hall of Fame announces 2021 American Currents exhibit | The  Music Universe

Special Video Presentation

Make sure to check out the premiere of the video special American Currents: Celebrating the State of the Music at 7 p.m. Friday, March 19 on the museum’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

During the video program, Luke Combs and Rissi Palmer will discuss the past year – how it changed their perspectives and how they managed to stay creative and positive during troubling times. Combs, Palmer and Billy Strings, who are each featured in this year’s exhibition, will also perform.

Country Music Hall of Fame Member and Museum Board President Vince Gill will introduce the exhibition and the program. Additionally, CEO Kyle Young will share remarks highlighting the artists, musicians, songwriters and stories featured in the most recent installment of the American Currents: State of the Music exhibition, which is located in the museum’s ACM Gallery.

For more information about American Currents: State of the Music, visit www.CountryMusicHallofFame.org.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.