WASHINGTON, May 19, 2013 —Tonight when TV audiences are choosing between Billboard’s pop music broadcast and Tim McGraw and company’s country music special, keep this in mind: recently country music surpassed classic rock as the most popular music genre. Even more revealing is the fact that 18-to-25-year-olds are twice as likely to say they are fans of country music.
This new statistic is not so much a negative reflection on pop music as it is a credit to country music in general. Country music stars have mastered the art of producing crossover songs that broaden their fan base beyond the usual boot scooting NASCAR crowd.
Because country stars have mastered the crossover song, more and more pop musicians are collaborating with them in hopes of capitalizing on country music’s newfound status.
The most recent controversial collaboration between LL Cool J and Brad Paisley is just one example of a growing trend in the music industry.
Tonight’s broadcast of “ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night” not only features country stars the Band Perry, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Faith Hill. Also on board tonight are pop stars Nelly, Ne-Yo and Pitbull.
Not to be outdone, country stars Taylor Swift, the Band Perry and Shania Twain are all guests tonight on The 2013 Billboard Music Awards as well.
Because music sales in the United States have dropped 47 percent since Napster first debuted in 1999, the blurring of the line between country and pop music serves both genres well in maintaining a viable music industry.
Since “a rising tide lifts all boats,” the rise of country music’s popularity is good news for the music industry. Any idea that increases the fan base of both music genres is just one way to compensate for the billions lost to free but illegal downloads.
Regardless of which show we choose to watch tonight, both specials are a reflection of a music industry in transition. Now if we could just get Dolly Parton and Snoop Dogg to perform a duet, the evolution would be complete.
All times are EDT:
CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Lesley Stahl reports on facial-recognition technology; Anderson Cooper interviews human-rights activist Shin Dong-hyuk, who is believed to be the only person born in a North Korean prison camp who successfully escaped; Lara Logan examines some of the personal belongings of Michael Jackson.
NBC: The Voice: (Repeat) The top 12 vocalists perform.
ABC: Billboard Music Awards: (Live) Festivities at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas recognize artists for the fan support they’ve garnered; Prince receives the Billboard Icon Award; Tracy Morgan hosts.
CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Anderson Cooper reports on thousands of Afghan boys who are fleeing their war-torn country to escape to Europe; Lara Logan visits documentary filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert as they film African lions; Lesley Stahl profiles Taylor Swift.
FOX: The Simpsons: (New) In the Season 24 finale, Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl hit the lottery, but when Carl takes off for Iceland with the winnings, the others set off after him. Meanwhile, Marge unwittingly gets involved with a website for married people seeking affairs, where she meets a charming man.
CBS: ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night: (New) Tim McGraw hosts a star-studded concert to support ACM Lifting Lives. Performing: Jason Aldean; the Band Perry; Dierks Bentley; Luke Bryan; Florida Georgia Line; John Fogerty; Faith Hill; Lady Antebellum; Nelly; Ne-Yo; Pitbull; Taylor Swift; Keith Urban.
FOX: Family Guy: (New) In the Season 11 finale, Stewie and Brian hop in the time machine and head for Las Vegas and a Bette Midler concert, but the machine malfunctions and one of them is rendered “lucky,” while the other is “unlucky.” Later, the Griffins receive an invite to join a posh country club.
NBC: The Celebrity Apprentice: (New) With help from returning celebrities, the final two go head-to-head to become the first-ever All-Star Apprentice.
HBO: Game of Thrones: (New) A wedding at King’s Landing starts a new life for an unlikely couple; Davos wants proof from Melisandre; Sam and Gilly have an encounter with an older man; Daenerys meets the Titan’s Bastard.
SHOWTIME: Nurse Jackie: (New) Jackie recoups from her night of indiscretion, and Grace must face her punishment from her parents.
PBS: Masterpiece Classic: (New) Mr. Selfridge: In the “Mr. Selfridge” Season 1 finale, the day that explorer Ernest Shackleton is slated to give a lecture at the store is marred by a tragedy. Later, a special guest enjoys an after-hours shopping excursion; and Harry and Rose attend a scandalous play.
HBO: Veep: (New) Catherine’s 21st birthday party becomes a forum for Selina’s budget negotiation with the majority leader, but Amy and Gary are more worried how Selina will handle seeing her ex-husband. Meanwhile, Mike discusses Selina’s role in the Uzbek hostage crisis with the press.
SHOWTIME: The Borgias: (New) Alexander reluctantly accedes to Cesare’s plan to destroy the Sforza dynasty.
New episodes of:
Alaska: The Last Frontier at 8 p.m. on DSC
Ultimate Survival Alaska: The Extra Mile at 8 p.m. on NGC
Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel
Trip Flip at 8 p.m. on Travel Channel
Watch What Happens Live at 8 p.m. on BRAVO
Long Island Medium: Beyond the Road at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on TLC
Ultimate Survival Alaska at 9 p.m. on NGC
North America at 9 p.m. on DSC
Army Wives at 9 p.m. on LIFE
Future Scream Machines: Bigger, Wetter, Faster at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
River Monsters at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet
Married to Medicine at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown at 9 p.m. on CNN
Ax Men at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Extreme Homes at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Dateline ID at 9 p.m. on ID
Iron Chef America at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Long Island Medium at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Mad Men at 10 p.m. on AMC
Ice Cold Gold at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet
Guntucky at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on CMT
Breaking Amish: Brave New World at 10 p.m. on TLC
For movie lovers:
Clambake on ENC
Paycheck on FLIX
Big Momma’s House on FMC
Star Trek on FX
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on HBO
The Shawshank Redemption on IFC
The Hangover on TBS
Jesse James on TCM
Despicable Me on ABCFAM
Dark Shadows on MOMAX
Under Siege on REELZ
Mother’s Day on SHO
21 Jump Street on STARZ
The Pianist at 9:40 p.m. on TMC
3000 Miles to Graceland at 9:40 p.m. on ENC
Chasing Amy at 10 p.m. on FLIX
Contagion at 10 p.m. on HBO
The Return of Frank James at 10 p.m. on TCM
Blades of Glory at 10:15 p.m. on TBS
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