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Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album fuels country music renaissance

At the Billboard and NMPA Songwriter Awards, Lana Del Rey announced her upcoming album Lasso and declared she’s taking a break from alternative music to experiment in the country genre. 

Following the success of her 2023 album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” the album is set to be released in September with the production of longtime friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff. 

According to Del Rey, the genre shift is a way of adapting to the ever-changing music industry trends. 

“If you can’t already tell by our award winners and our performers, the music business is going country," she said. "We’re going country. It’s happening." 

According to Billboard, the star has dedicated the last four years to fully immersing herself in the soul of country music: the South. Spending time in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Nashville, Tennessee and Mississippi, Del Rey and Antonoff have shown dedication to doing the genre justice. 

Del Rey has nine albums under her belt, all exclusively in the alternative and pop genres. Meanwhile, Antonoff has dabbled in the country genre with artists Maren Morris and The Chicks

Prior to the announcement, the singer teased her new sound in a cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

As for the music industry as a whole, country music has had an increasing amount of success within mainstream media. Newly popular artists like Noah Kahan and Zach Bryan have had major success in the genres of folk and alt-country. 

Additionally, artists with country roots like Taylor Swift, whose re-recordings have sparked a pop-country renaissance, have incorporated country elements in their music, encouraging appreciation for the genre from listeners. Collaborations and crossovers of genres continue to lessen the divide between mainstream and country music.

Country duo Dan + Shay collaborated with Justin Bieber and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “10,000 Hours.” Similarly, country artists are blurring the lines of genres with covers like Luke Combs' “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

According to Billboard, the country genre is experiencing a renaissance thanks to the work of newly established artists like Morgan Wallen, Bailey Zimmerman, Lainey Wilson, Zach Bryan, Jelly Roll and Megan Moroney, who expertly weave in aspects of hip-hop and pop into their music.

Furthermore, these newer artists have allowed the country genre to adapt to the streaming age and appeal to and interact with the younger audience on social media like TikTok. 

Even legacy artists within the genre are growing their platforms through TikTok, where old songs are trending again. Dolly Parton, for one, received 1.2 million likes after making a TikTok account. Meanwhile, Glen Campbell’s 1977 song “Southern Nights” was trending on the app.  

Hip-hop artists continue to redefine the country genre and aesthetic as well. Beyonce, for example, made history with her latest single, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” by becoming the first Black woman to top the Hot Country Songs chart. 

The Houston native and other Texan artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo celebrate their roots through cowgirl-inspired fashion like fringe, boots and cowboy hats. 

In recent years, a growing number of artists from all genres have experimented with country-inspired music and fashion, suggesting that “Lasso” may be one of many trending country albums this year. By experimenting with genres and styles, music itself could be heading into a unique, new-age era, combining the best parts of each genre. 


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