Country music's ten biggest douchebags

Categories: Commentary

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The White House
Guess who's back?
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 subgenre -- known as "bro-country" -- is lending it far too much credibility right now. In light of a certain artist occasionally known as Chris Gaines' announcement this morning about his impending announcement, we thought we'd take the chance to call out the worst offenders.

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 ten biggest 'bags currently cranking out (s)hits in Music City today:

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Courtesy of the label
Toby Keith
10. Toby Keith
Drinking has long been fertile fodder for country songs. But for Keith, who has 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 before what is sure to be a world tour announcement on Thursday, 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.


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118 comments
Marc Conley
Marc Conley

Well they sure ain't.country except for Garth other then that no fiddles no steel guitars just over rated pop music that don't Even sound good nothing like merle haggard George Jones Alan Jackson etc

sballardo672
sballardo672

You guys are the most arrogant, DOUCHY, pricks that make even hipsters say, "Fucking hipsters." 

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

It's very apparent that the westword is nothing more than a joke and is not to be taken seriously.. bunch of acne faced ass hats who still live with their parents and play Playstation and Xbox down in their " lair " westword is nothing but a bunch of hacks

Nikole Fullenwider
Nikole Fullenwider

I 100% disagree with this article ! Kenny Cheney and Garth brooks are two of the best country singers ever. Luke Bryan? Georgia Florida line? Toby Keith? Rascal flats ?? Also awesome!

Steven Dryver
Steven Dryver

There is absolutely NOTHING at all "talented" about FL-GA line.....NOTHING.

Nick Kyle
Nick Kyle

Weird, Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha have been building houses in the Denver metro area for years now for Habitat for Humanity. If this places him on the top 10 douchebag, than it makes me question whether I'd want to pick up your publication.

Graham Haworth
Graham Haworth

Westword, this is BS. Do your job and quit stealing from your other publications. Do us a favor and do some real music reviews rather than this nonsense.

Rico Loco
Rico Loco

Kelly Blair thought you might have an opinion on this? Given that I'm a huge fan of country and know the truth we can compare thoughts later

Wayne Flack
Wayne Flack

I"m sorry, did you say someone on this list was supposed to play country music? I mean, you listed a few southern pop artists....but no country....

Eric Lindner
Eric Lindner

All of them because country music is garbage!

Jay Polo
Jay Polo

Narowing it down to 10 would be tough

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

this list should be "Country music has the biggest douchebags"

Rob Jennings
Rob Jennings

When are you guys going to publish a story about the ten biggest douches that write for Westword? Pretty sure it wouldn't be a tough list to create. The hardest part would be keeping the list to only ten.

Jessy Briton Hamilton
Jessy Briton Hamilton

Are you sure this is fair? I'm not so sure. Florida/Georgia Line pushed into fruition a new era in country music by co-opting Nelly and breaking down barriers in American music. Think again.

Shayne Barrett
Shayne Barrett

I've said it before. Mike Seely is the biggest douchebag. Even his mom said so. :P

Brian Burridge
Brian Burridge

Wow, why don't you guys stick to talking about pot? Since you have shit for articles now... Fuck you Westword.

Aric Villarreal
Aric Villarreal

I know my life is on the right track when I'm familiar with only two names on this list!

Randy Gutierrez
Randy Gutierrez

You've already have done this one and it was just as dumb then. Lame

Matthew Nelson
Matthew Nelson

why are westword's posts more often negative than not?

Norm Pyle
Norm Pyle

You guys should quit posting this drivel.

Scott White
Scott White

..." Drinking has long been fertile fodder for country songs. But for Keith, who has devoted entire concept albums to the topic, it's too often the only fodder."... This song proves that mike seely is indeed clueless. (note - it was the most played song on country radio of the 1990s) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIq1LvzSLsk

brendalott55
brendalott55

Westword is not what it once was.  The WW reader of even five years ago would not have given a glance to an article about Country anything.  

Benjamin Wilson
Benjamin Wilson

my father use to work for Garth, can confirm hes a super DOUCHE

Jeremy Wolf
Jeremy Wolf

Ridiculous article... You're a douchebag.

Sammy River
Sammy River

It would have been 12 but we kept you and your boyfriend off the list.

Sammy River
Sammy River

Whoever posted this I bet you wont say it to his face....cowards.

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