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Country Music Is Actually a Thing

The 10 Biggest Douchebags in Country Music

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Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 4:30 AM
click to enlarge Luke Bryan - COURTESY OF THE LABEL
  • Courtesy of the Label
  • Luke Bryan
Mainstream country music gets an unfair rap as being universally over-polished and formulaic, a notion that artists like Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church obliterate every time they strap on their guitars. But there's a granule of truth to the stereotype, and a particularly damaging sub-genre - known as "bro-country" - is lending it far too much credibility right now.

Booze, chicks, jacked-up pickups, extreme redneck sports, spring break - artists like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and even Blake Shelton are leaning way too heavily on such themes in their music these days, and the entire trope can be summed up in one word: douchey. Yet bro-country isn't the only brand of 'baggery currently afflicting Nashville. No, douchebags are a diverse lot, and here are the 10 biggest 'bags currently cranking out (s)hits in Music City today:

click to enlarge Toby Keith - COURTESY OF THE LABEL
  • Courtesy of the Label
  • Toby Keith
10. Toby Keith
Drinking has long been fertile fodder for country songs. But for Keith, who's devoted entire concept albums to the topic, it's too often the only fodder. His lyrical over-reliance on the bottle is at least partially responsible for spawning bro-country, and Keith also bears a heavy burden for souring the Dixie Chicks on country radio (and vice versa), a setback from which Nashville's female insurgency is only now recovering.
click to enlarge Charles Kelley - COURTESY OF THE LABEL
  • Courtesy of the Label
  • Charles Kelley
9. Charles Kelley
He seems like a sweet, goofy guy, but sounds like supremo-'bag Michael Bolton, and is in a trio with "Lady" in its name. There's no place for the sort of soft-rock sheen Kelley brings to twang's table; it's high time Hillary Scott ditched the dudes and made Lady Antebellum all about the Lady.

click to enlarge Dan + Shay - RAM COUNTRY
  • Ram Country
  • Dan + Shay
8. Dan + Shay
This douchey duo is managed by Belieber-in-Chief Scooter Braun. That's the only argument we need.

click to enlarge Chris Gaines/Garth Brooks - COURTESY OF THE LABEL
  • Courtesy of the Label
  • Chris Gaines/Garth Brooks
7. Garth Brooks
Brooks admirably took a decade off in his prime to focus on his family, but we still can't get the Chris Gaines debacle out of our head, nor can we entirely dismiss it as the reason for Brooks' "retirement" in the first place.

See also: The 20 Worst Albums of the '90s

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