It hasn’t taken long for Morgan Wallen to put controversy behind him and become one of the top country music performers in the nation.
BetKansas.com took a break from covering Kansas sports betting to utilize 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 used Google Trends to find the most popular country music artists in the state of Kansas over the past 12 months (June 2022-June 2023).
Kansas’ Favorite Country Singers
Wallen, Combs Top List of Kansas Favorites
Wallen is way out in front of Luke Combs in second place, Zach Bryan in third, George Strait in fourth and then Blake Shelton and Lainey Wilson 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.
Given those issues, Wallen’s current popularity might have been considered a longshot on Kansas sports betting apps — if they had odds on such things.
Wallen is currently on his “One Night At A Time World Tour” across North America this summer and fall. He’s not currently scheduled to be back in Kansas this year, but he’ll be at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 6-7 and then at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 9. He’ll end his 2023 tour with a Dec. 3 date at The O2 in London.
Combs Debut Lifted Him to Stardom
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 — “Gettin’ Old” in 2023 and “Growin’ Up” in 2022. Combs is currently touring America and his closest show will be June 17 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Not long after that, he’s off to Australia, New Zealand and Europe from Aug. 9 through two shows at London’s O2 Arena in late October.
Bryan’s rise since 2017 from the U.S. Navy to his first major release on May 20, 2022, with “American Heartbreak” is an inspiring story. His first album “DeAnn” was dedicated to his mother and recorded in an Airbnb in 2019. His latest album has produced three strong singles, including the No. 1 hit “Something in the Orange.” He’s currently on tour across the country with dates in Wichita on Aug. 27, Lincoln, Neb., on Aug. 29 and Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 30.
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.