2015 was quite a year for country music. From an explosive night at the CMA’s to record-breaking releases, there was much to celebrate. So, before we look ahead at what’s to come in 2016, let’s take a look back with 15 moments that happened for the very first time in country music history.
15.Cole Swindell‘s fourth chart-topping hit, “Let Me See You Girl” made him the only solo male artist in the history of the Mediabase chart to have his first four singles hit number one.
12.Kelsea Ballerini celebrated a No. 1 hit with “Love Me Like You Mean It”, making her the first female to lead the country airplay chart with her debut single since Carrie Underwood in 2006.
11. Before her single “Burning House” went platinum and her debut album Untamed was released, Cam realized another dream of hers as she made her official debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
10.Chris Young’s hard work paid off with his fifth studio album, I’m Comin’ Over, debuting at No. 1. With almost 60,000 copies sold the first week, it was his first-ever No. 1 album.
9. After 15 years in the industry, Aaron Watson is no longer the underdog. His 12th album, the independently released The Underdog, surpassed many big name artists to give him the first No. 1 album of his career.
8.Maren Morris is a songwriter from Texas who’s seen Nashville success in this past year. Now signed to Sony Music Nashville, she is ready to take her own solo career to the next level.
7.Joey and Rory Feek celebrated their first Grammy nomination in the best country duo/group performance category for their performance of “If I Needed You.” This nomination gives the couple hope in a time when they need it the most.
6.Miranda Lambert shined bright in Music City as she was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame.
5. Michael Ray yielded the highest one-week total number of spins in Country Aircheck history with his debut single “Kiss Me in the Morning”. This achievement marked the years first No.1 debut single by a male artist.
4.Willie Nelson became the first country musician to win the Gershwin Prize, created in 2007 as a lifetime achievement award to those who have made a significant impact on popular music.