Making Country Music Mainstream: How the Genre Crossed Boundaries

How big is country music? Well, if you’re an avid reader of, you’ll know the answer is huge. From the big names like Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Jon Pardi, to American Idol hopefuls like Grace Leer flying the country music flag, the genre is as popular as it’s ever been. That’s not just us saying that. Outside of our potentially biased opinion, the general public seems to agree that country music a massive part of modern culture.

According to a 2018 CBS News poll, American’s named country as their favorite genre. 21% of respondents said it was their go-to, while 18% opted for rock. Of those that choose country, more were female. Additionally, the stats trended towards the older generation with 33% of respondents being 65 or over. Whatever the demographics, the fact remains that country music is a hit with the masses.

Popularity Leads to a Crossing of Borders

Financially, that’s obviously significant. We all know Dolly Parton has parlayed her singing career into a business empire worth over $500 million. However, even those outside of mainstream like Toby Keith are still worth an estimated $365 million. These figures are just another indication of how popular this type of music is. However, just like a well-crafted melody, the impact of the genre runs much deeper than money. When you look at the world at large, you’ll find a dose of country music in some unexpected places.

One of the most unexpected areas is gaming. Scrolling through the games library at VegasSlotsOnline reveals a meeting of minds. Seeing the success of stars like Dolly Parton, slot developers have used country music to enliven their creations. In essence, two different parts of the entertainment world have come together to make sweet music (quite literally). Today, Dolly Parton has her own slot. Beyond this, VegasSlotsOnline’s library also contains offerings such as Music Country.

Instead of being based on one of the industry’s icons, this game is inspired by the genre as a whole. Harking back to the days of cowboys and strumming guitars in the deep south, Music Country is a great example of how music has crossed barriers and become mainstream. Indeed, you can also get a sense of this when you consider how country has infiltrated other mediums within the entertainment sector. For example, Sturgill Simpson has appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast numerous times over the last few years.

Making Waves Within Popular Culture

As well as chatting with Rogan alone, he’s taken his band onto the popular podcast. In the spectrum of pop icons, The Joe Rogan Experience is right up there. Not only does his show reach millions of listeners every week, the man himself recently signed a deal with Spotify worth $100 million. To see a country artist like Simpson on the show is yet another example of how the genre is no longer niche. Then, of course, you’ve got things like the PBS documentary Country Music by Ken Burns. This miniseries explored the history of the music we love and, importantly, highlighted its links to American culture.

Over the course of eight episodes, viewers were treated to personal insights, historical overviews, and much more. The end result was more exposure for the industry, its artists, and all that goes into making music. If you’re a fan of country music, you already know it’s fantastic. However, over the last decade or so, it seems that those on the outside are starting to see this as well. By finding its way into other mediums, country music has become bigger than ever and, that’s something we should all be excited about.