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Musician Luke Bryan performs on stage at the 2011 CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The 49th Academy of Country Music Awards was packed with live performances Sunday, flaunting artists who are young, mainstream, and more influential than ever.
The show, held Sunday at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel, captivated its largest audience in fifteen years, growth that analysts attribute to the genre’s increased appeal to younger listeners.
But that growing audience includes more than tweens who idolize Taylor Swift.
An increased number of young men have become country fans thanks, in part, to tailgate party songs by artists like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. These “bro-country” artists, who sing about driving pickups, picking up chicks, and drinking beer, also appeal to female listeners, making country music the nation’s most popular radio format.
Is the popularity of "bro-country" just a trend? Has country music taken a turn for the worse?
Randy Lewis, Pop Music Writer for the Los Angeles Times.
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