Worst Country Artist 2016 Tournament: Vote on the Championship Match!

Championship Country Perspective's 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament

Welcome to the Championship of Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament! We’re now down to the final match-up! You know the drill: vote for who you think is the worst country artist in the match-up. The winner will be crowned Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist. Remember you have until Thursday, April 7 at 6 PM ET to vote, so be sure to get your votes in! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.


12 thoughts on “Worst Country Artist 2016 Tournament: Vote on the Championship Match!

  1. Louis Knoebel April 4, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Oh man…. I hate both of their music but this is tough.

    Probably going to have to go with Sam Hunt ultimately. IMO, he’s a no talent hack no matter what you call him. This applies to Rhett as well but Hunt just pisses me off way more.


  2. Nadia Lockheart April 4, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Both are insufferable. Make no mistake of it.

    That said, I have to give this to Sam Hunt on account of net impact.


    Yes, Thomas Rhett has committed a couple of sins that even Sam Hunt hasn’t accomplished (yet). I don’t fool around with shameless plagiarism and refuse to ever take that transgression lightly, and Rhett is especially red-handed in that regard for ripping off Sam Cooke, Ed Sheeran and War: all for one album!

    Then, of course that’s the fact that Thomas Rhett all but certainly wouldn’t have a recording career in the first place if not for his father Rhett Akins. I’m not saying nepotism ALWAYS results in bad music or that family bloodline can’t produce something meaningful. The Wallflowers were one of my favorite alternative groups growing up and you certainly never would have heard of them if not for Bob Dylan. We wouldn’t be hearing Patty Loveless if not for Loretta Lynn either, for that matter. Hank Williams III is obviously worth a mention too. But Thomas Rhett…………………is soulless snake oil solely meant to lubricate the gears of the Nashville songwriting machine.


    So is Sam Hunt.

    But what makes Sam Hunt comparatively dangerous to Thomas Rhett is, he’s actually getting away with becoming a superstar not just to the genre, but to the perception of outsiders.

    Thomas Rhett, to this day, still comes across more as “that guy who wrote the poor man’s Ed Sheeran song” to people who don’t listen to country music and are just observing it from a distance. But when they see Sam Hunt, they view him as who must be the current ambassador or spokesperson of the genre. They may think: “Huh……………I don’t hear any twang but, whatever, I’ll take their word for it that’s what country is now and I don’t want any part in it!”. It’s especially being reflected in his commercial success across a number of European countries: where it is exceptionally rare for artists categorized as country to succeed. It became a Top Ten hit in the Netherlands and fell just short in Italy and Belgium. To them, Sam Hunt is the current flag-bearer of country music and that is severely damaging to the image of our genre as a whole.

    He fell just short of taking “Breakup In A Small Town” to #1: a song that is a haphazard fusion of Drake-esque talk-sing-rapping, glossy pop and dubstep. Stop and think about that for a minute. A song like that barely missed the zenith of the Country Airplay chart. Granted “Beautiful Drug” has since followed suit, but the success of the former serves as a referendum on what can get away with being sold to the top of the charts and still be taken seriously as “country”. And much of the buck stops with Sam Hunt.

    But what makes Hunt’s lyrics (at least basing off his debut album “Montevallo”) is how the critical press has rolled over and kissed his feet en masse and has praised him as a compelling songwriter and game-changing visionary; all while Hunt himself has insisted that his lyrics respect women and serve as a more “respectful” response to the misogyny that often permeated bro-country. Yet, Hunt’s lyrics are actually WORSE than those because while most bro-country singers don’t even try to be self-aware or mature, Hunt clearly likes to wrap himself in this aura of “sophistication” and “maturity” when, in fact, a closer look at his lyrics reveals blatant insecurities and possessive traits that often characterize acerbic relationships. Take “Ex To See”, or “Single for the Summer”, or the aforementioned “Breakup In A Small Town”. In each of those songs, we have a narrator who just comes across as completely likeable, arrogant and spiteful. Heck, even “Take Your Time” can easily be read as a round-about attempt to get into a subject’s pants via guilt-tripping rather than anything remotely resembling a sex-positive feminist anthem.


    At the very least with Thomas Rhett, you can view him as a blissfully ignorant personality who just so happens to have gotten lucky on country radio. But Hunt? He’s trying to paint and depict himself as something “deeper” and more “refined”………………….and that disingenuousness is what makes Hunt easily stand out as the Worst of the Worst.

    I’m voting Sam Hunt, hands down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott April 4, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      Well said with excellent points, Nadia!


    • southtexaspistolero April 6, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Astute observations as always, Nadia, and I agree with every one. Put another way, you could say that Thomas Rhett’s success is mostly if not completely due to nepotism, while Sam Hunt seems to be succeeding on his own merits.

      To be clear, when I say his own merits, I mean his own merits as they are promoted by the mainstream country music media. I don’t actually think Sam Hunt has any merit or credibility as an artist. I might give him credit if he were not actually marketing himself as a country music singer, but he is, and so he shall be judged as such.


  3. Raymond April 4, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Crap! I meant to vote for Sam Hunt but accidentally clicked on Thomas Rhett. Gosh that’s irritating because last nights ACMs changed my mind on how much Sam Hunt sucks, at least Thomas Rhett was more or less disposable, where as Sam was terrible.

    Hey Josh, are you guys going to talk about the ACMS at all. I’d love to hear your guys thoughts.


    • Josh Schott April 4, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      I didn’t bother watching it, so no.


      • Raymond April 4, 2016 / 10:12 pm

        Eh I don’t blame you for not watching it. The only performances really worth checking out are Cam, Eric Church, Katy Perry & Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert (should have performed “Sweet By and By” but still a solid performance and that’s about it. People are raving about Chris Young & Cassadee Pope’s performance but my gosh it was so boring and they sounded horrendous somehow, and Little Big Town’s performance of “Stay All Night” (I think that’s the song title) Josh when you said that LBT’s latest album was overproduced Pop-Rock you weren’t kidding. If there was a surprise for me is that Kelsea Ballerini sounded pretty solid on “Peter Pan” especially since her usual live performances are pretty bad, not a performance I’d recommend but not one that was awful.


        • Amanda April 5, 2016 / 12:20 pm

          Little Big Town’s performance was simply awful. And their outfits were hideous! They looked like circus clowns. The Little Big Clowns, lol 🙂


        • Raymond April 5, 2016 / 1:26 pm

          It was awful and I got blasted on Pulse Music Board for saying I didn’t like it. A lot of people loved Little Big Towns latest album and said that the album was among the very best of 2014 (beter than Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert). No it was an overproduced Pop-Rock album that’s only somewhat saved because each member of Little Big Town are all very talented singers. But it was still garbage. I legitimately don’t get why I’m like the only one who hated it.


  4. petemarshall724 April 4, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    My vote is for Sam Hunt because he is a disgrace to country music. Thomas Rhett is not a great country artist but “Die of a happy man” has impress me that he can sing country (call me crazy) but most of his songs are not country.


  5. ludocracy April 5, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    The Louvin Brothers had it right. Satan is real, and his name is Sam Hunt.


  6. Jeynie April 6, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    I call bullshit on this entire contest; I’m going to need to see the ballot box. There is NO WAY my pony, Cole Swindell, lost to Thomas Rhett in a sucking contest! *throws some shit across the room*

    I feel so bereft.

    Liked by 1 person

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