Who’s Gonna Fill Their Legendary Shoes?
We know that Garth has been “retired,” at least in big-picture terms, since around 2000. But he appears to be building up to a possible return with his recent stint in Las Vegas and his appearance at Toby Keith’s fundraising concert for the Oklahoma tornado victims on July 6. And should Garth indeed bounce back full-time into the worlds of recording and touring, he’ll likely pick up right where he left us, as the most powerful and influential star in country music. Who else could pull that off after an absence of more than a decade? No one but Garth, a notion that points to his lasting importance and standing. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame this past year, Garth is still a larger-than-life figure and a fascinating character with multiple sides to his personality, in the mold of Johnny Cash. With his electrifying stage shows, which brought the rock ’n’ roll motif to country music in the early 1990s, Garth has set the bar for entertainers to follow.
photo courtesy CMA
In this special Country Weekly cover story, we profile some of today’s most capable artists—the Veterans, the Journeymen, the Hopefuls and the Promising—and take a look ahead down country’s road.