It hasn’t taken long for Morgan Wallen to put controversy behind him and become one of the most popular country music performers in the nation.
BetArizona.com took a break from covering Arizona sportsbooks and utilized Billboard.com’s 2022 Top Country Artists on the year-end charts to develop a list of the Top 50 country music artists. Once obtaining the list, we utilized Google Trends to find the most popular country music artists in the state of Arizona over the past 12 months (June 2022-June 2023).
Arizona’s Favorite Country Singers
Wallen Ahead of ‘King George’
In what might seem like a huge upset if it was included on Arizona sports betting apps — and definitely a surprise for fans of an older generation — Wallen is way out in front of George Strait in second place. Shania Twain is in third, Chris Stapleton is fourth, and Luke Combs and Carrie Underwood are tied for fifth.
The release of Wallen’s third album, “One Thing at a Time,” on March 3 has propelled him to higher popularity. All 36 tracks entered the Billboard Top 100 upon its release and the single “Last Night” has been a staple at No. 1 for the past 17 weeks and 18 total.
Soon after the release of his second album in January 2021, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” Wallen got in trouble because of a video where he used a racial slur. That kept the popular album from being considered for many awards as the former contestant on “The Voice” made various apologies and donations in efforts to atone for his mistake.
Wallen is currently on his “One Night At A Time World Tour” across North America this summer and fall. He’ll end his 2023 tour with a Dec. 3 date at London’s O2 Arena.
Strait Still a Strong Presence
Strait needs little introduction, and many fans would swear he’s the most popular country music star all day, every day and there’s no questioning that. Wallen’s popularity would be little more than a fad to older country music fans. The 71-year-old has been an influential artist since 1981 by amassing 60 No. 1 hit songs across 30 studio albums. He’s the modern-day king of country music by many standards.
Strait has been limited on the road since his 2014 “The Cowboy Rides Away” tour, but he’s scheduled some stadium shows this year with Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town in Seattle, Denver, Nashville and Tampa, Fla. He’s also got two shows planned for Nov. 17-18 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Twain began blazing a trail for female country music performers in 1993, and she’s sold over 100 million records, making her the top female country artist of all time. She’s had six studio albums and four have gone to No. 1 on the country charts. The latest, “The Queen In Me,” was released in February of this year and it has been as high as No. 2. Twain is currently on a world tour with dates across North America and Europe, but there’s not a date in Arizona. There are July and October dates in Texas.
Stapleton’s most recent album “Starting Over” was released in November 2020 and was honored as Album of the Year or Best Country Album by the Country Music Association and the Grammy Awards. He’s currently on an American tour, and while there’s not an Arizona date on the schedule, he’ll be in Denver with Strait on June 24.
Combs has been performing since 2014 and his debut album “This One’s For You” put him on the charts in 2017. It was certified five times platinum and spent a record 50 weeks at No. 1. He’s up to four albums, with two in the past two years with “Gettin’ Old” in 2023 and “Growin’ Up” in 2022. Combs is currently touring America, but soon he’s off to Australia, New Zealand and Europe from Aug. 9 through two shows at London’s O2 Arena in late October.