Females are strongly represented in the Grand Ole Opry's just-released Best Performances of 2015 footage. Featuring the likes of such radio staples as Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, the three and a half minute snapshot also includes living-legend Loretta Lynn, critical darling Ashley Monroe and newcomers Cam and Kelsea Ballerini; the latter two both earned their first-ever No. 1 radio hits the past year with "Burning House" and "Love Me Like You Mean It," respectively.
Check out the star-studded montage above.
Underwood's 2015 has been one for the books. The singer, in fact, has been documenting her career-best year with a sequence of countdown posts on her Facebook, ranging from collages of her awards, which include a Grammy for "Something in the Water" and countless others (CMT Awards, People's Choice, Billboard Music, American Music, BMI, Teen Choice), to her Calia fitness line. She has also released her fifth studio album titled Storyteller. To say 2015 has been good to the country singer is an understatement, and she is not quite finished.
This Thursday (Dec. 31), Underwood rings in the new year as part of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" live from Times Square. The end-year concert series will be broadcast on ABC beginning at 8/7c.
Ballerini and Cam (both showcased above) represent the changing of the guard, as females begin to reclaim the spotlight. Following the infamous food fight, sparked by Keith Hill's egregious comments, the tides have begun their slow turn to balance. Bro-country bowed out (mostly), as R&B and romance became the new trend. Meanwhile, ballads, too, connected tremendously with the general country music audience. Songs like "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town, Jana Kramer's "I Got the Boy" and Cam's own "Burning House" elicited strong emotions and commercial returns. As 2015 comes to a close, there is no denying that fans are itching for more of the same in the new year.
Lambert and Monroe have continued pushing the envelope in their music, as evidenced with their latest full-lengths, Platinum and The Blade, respectively. Radio does not always remain loyal to its radio stars; Lambert's track record of bonafide radio hits is rocky, at best, and Monroe has not ignited the passion, despite her critical acclaim. Lynn's legacy is nearly unmatched by any other female in history, supported by her grounded storytelling and grit, and she may be past her radio/relevant peak, but her impact is undeniable.
2015, you've been a good year for females in country music.