Sure, we loved albums by country stars like Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley last year, but we’re so over you, 2016! There are dozens of promising albums lined up for 2017, including follow-ups from some of country music’s most promising hit makers.

Full disclosure: not every album mentioned on this list of 5 albums we can’t wait for in 2017 is confirmed. Some are. Others aren’t (wink, wink), while others are flat-out rumors. We’ll clarify as we go, but we can say for sure Lauren Alaina will have new music coming. Her Road Less Traveled album drops Jan. 27, and we’re already getting down to a project filled with inspirational country songs.

Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton’s next albums fall squarely under the “we’ve heard things” category, but both are nearing two years between albums, which is typically how long an artist and his or her label likes to go. That gives time for three or four singles to hit radio (five in the case of Rhett and Tangled Up) and new ideas to cultivate. Honestly, we’ve been waiting for Stapleton to follow-up his Traveller album since the day he released it. Ronnie Dunn admitted that he did some writing with Stapleton, but none of those songs ended up on Tattooed Heart. We’ve also heard he’s been in the studio lately.

Brett Young’s self-titled album is going to drop Feb. 10. The “In Case You Didn’t Know” singer is poised to become the breakthrough artist of 2017. It’s No. 2 on this list and No. 1 in terms of debut albums.

Finally, we can’t wait for Sam Hunt to follow-up his Montevallo album. Last summer he admitted he was getting some pressure to record, and even went as far as to discuss the possible direction he’ll take. If 2017 passes without new music from the Taste of Country Music Festival headliner, four years will have passed. For an artist that hot, this just can’t happen. We’d bet money on Hunt dropping a new album in the summer or fall. It might be someone else’s money, but still money.

Of course, these aren’t the only five we’re excited for. Brett Eldredge and Old Dominion are both working on new albums. Dustin Lynch is preparing his as well, and Granger Smith says he plans on releasing new music in 2017. Luke Bryan looks to be on schedule to release a new album in 2017 (although there’s been no confirmation that he’s working toward that) and Tim McGraw would be wise to release something new in support of his upcoming Soul2Soul Tour with wife Faith Hill.

A new Faith Hill album? That’s crazy talk, right?


Trisha Yearwood told Taste of Country she’s going to start recording in January. All of this is sure to come after confirmed albums by Brantley Gilbert (Jan. 27), Little Big Town (Feb. 24) and Brad Paisley (March 3). Yep, this is going to be another big year for country music. What albums do you think will make the year-end Best of 2017 list?

Next: See All Albums Scheduled for 2017

Watch Brett Young Perform "In Case You Didn't Know" 

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