Today, Official Charts can confirm that 2024 is the year of the country music renaissance in the UK, with the genre experiencing a 67% surge year-on-year so far.

New research by the Official Charts Company reveals that combined sales and streaming-equivalent sales of country singles in the UK so far in 2024 have already reached 11.5 million and counting, versus the 6.9 million for 2023 in the same time period (21 weeks).

Two weeks ago, Post Malone's collaboration with US country singer Morgan Wallen, I Had Some Help, debuted at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart. The first single from a new country-influenced record by Post Malone, I Had Some Help also made its mark as the first UK Top 10 single for Morgan Wallen, a veritable country superstar in America, who scored the biggest hit of 2023 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his single Last Night. It's not alone either, I Had Some Help is one of a hat-trick of country tunes currently riding in the UK Top 10.

Bolstered by several viral TikTok hits - like A Bar Song (Tipsy) by Shaboozey (Number 3 peak) and Austin by Dasha (Number 7 peak) - and of course Beyoncé's chart-topping eighth studio album COWBOY CARTER, the streaming numbers for country as a genre are even more impressive...and opening the doors for newer artists to make their mark on a global scale.

"A lot of people I listen to are getting their flowers," Shaboozey, the self-styled maker of “music for modern cowboys” told Official Charts who has earned his first Top 10 hit this year. "Vincent Neil Emerson from Texas, Leon Bridges; all homies that’ve been here for a while. Sierra Ferrell, as well.

"They’ve all been doing their stuff for years and the world’s finally come around to them. They’re some of the new pioneers of this new resurgence of Western music."

So far in 2024, country songs have amassed 1.3 billion streams in the UK, a 63% increase on the 800.1 million streams they received throughout the same time period in 2023.

And it's not just zeitgeist singles that are reaping the rewards of country's newfound popularity in the UK; country albums have also seen a 29% increase so far this year, going from a year-to-date total of 846,000 in 2023 to 1.1 million in 2024, a number that will only rise in the coming weeks and months.

Beyoncé's well-publicised heel turn into country this year with COWBOY CARTER proved to be no fluke for the sake of headlines. Delivering the first ever Number 1 country album in the UK by a black artist, Beyonce's exploration of country was an experiment in thoughtfully interrogating country music's relationship with race. Drawing a line between some of the black country musicians whose contributions to the genre have been mostly forgotten (including Linda Martell, who featured on several of the album's tracks), while also highlighting exciting new black musicians seeking to build a place of their own in the genre, like Shaboozey (A Bar Song's ascent was massively aided by the spotlight provided by his Beyoncé features) and Tanner Adell.

As it stands, COWBOY CARTER's lead single TEXAS HOLD 'EM right now ranks as the biggest country song of 2024 so far in the UK, as well as the fourth biggest overall, regardless of genre. According to Official Charts Company data, TEXAS HOLD 'EM has accumulated 655,000 UK chart units to date, including 71 million streams.

Earlier this year, TEXAS HOLD 'EM reached Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart. It was Beyonce’s sixth UK chart-topper and, with five non-consecutive weeks at the top, is also her longest-running Number 1 single.
But the story does not stop here.

Country music rides all the way into the UK Top 10

Official Charts Company data reveals that, throughout the entirety of 2023, just five country tracks made it into the Top 40 of the Official Singles Chart. Zach Bryan's emotive duet with Kacey Musgraves, I Remember Everything (a Number 1 hit for the duo in the US) was the highest-charting of the lot, reaching Number 19, becoming both acts' first Top 20 single here in the UK.

But already in 2024, we have seen a sharp uptick in country music's impact on the Official Chart. May is yet to draw to a close and already the number of country songs entering the Official Singles Chart Top 40 has surpassed the whole of 2023. A total of seven singles have reached the Top 40, all of which landed inside the Top 20 or higher. We've seen a country song reach Number 1 this year, with a further five charting in the Top 10.

Beyoncé leads here with the chart-topping TEXAS HOLD 'EM, with a further two tracks from COWBOY CARTER - Dolly Parton cover-come-rewrite JOLENE (8) and Miley Cyrus duet II MOST WANTED (9) also joining the party.

Hits from Post Malone & Morgan Wallen, Shaboozey and Dasha are currently riding high in this week's Top 10, while Zach Bryan & Kacey Musgraves flew even higher this year, with I Remember Everything hitting a brand-new peak of Number 14.

As well as an expected new country-focused album from Post Malone, there have long been rumblings that Lana Del Rey will also be issuing a country record, rumoured to be titled Lasso, in September. Zayn, whose previous solo work has sat comfortably in the Pop and R&B camp, has just released his own country album, Room Under The Stairs.

For the longest time, country has been a relatively hard genre to break in the UK. Country icon Dolly Parton has unbelievably never achieved a UK Number 1 single, while one of her biggest hits 9 to 5 never broke the UK Top 40. Similarly, Shania Twain has never topped the UK Official Singles Chart, though her crossover album Come On Over in 1998 marked her as the first ever female country artist to reach Number 1 on the UK Official Albums Chart and became one of the best-selling albums of all time here.

Commenting on this new trend, Martin Talbot, Chief Executive of Official Charts says;

"The explosion of country music in the UK this year is a reflection of the growing interest in guitar and story-telling music over recent years, spanning country, Americana, folk and roots. Beyonce is undoubtedly this year’s queen of country (claiming Number 1 in the Official Singles and Albums Charts earlier this year with Texas Hold ‘Em and Cowboy Carter) – but she really does represent the tip of an iceberg, as the latest offerings involving Dasha, Shaboozey, Post Malone and Morgan Wallen and many others indicate.

"Lana Del Rey is expected to release a country album later this year – and more broadly, the likes of Noah Kahan, Benson Boone, Teddy Swims and Michael Marcagi have staked a claim for drums and guitars in the current Official Singles Chart Top 10 recently. After a period dominated by beats-driven pop music in recent years, perhaps we are seeing the beginnings of a resurgence for more instrumentation-led repertoire?"

Speaking exclusively to Official Charts, Dasha talked of country music entering "a new era" in 2024, saying that the success of the genre reflects a state where "it brings a touch of authenticity that's been missing from pop music for a while."