Luke Combs Named the Hottest Country Artist of 2020
For the first time, the annual Taste of Country Hot List is ranking the 10 hottest artists of the year, and the hottest artist of 2020 is Luke Combs.
The "Does to Me" singer is hot in every area of his business, from streaming and song sales to touring and radio airplay. An Entertainer of the Year nomination at the 2020 ACM Awards serves as a powerful intangible (just three of the five nominees make this list of 10). Can the 30-year-old do any wrong?
The full gallery of 10 artists for 2020 is below, but first a note on how the Taste of Country staff determined this list. Tour cancelations made evaluating their draw as a live artist difficult, but since all country artists have found their schedules wiped clean, it was fair to look back on 2019 and at the number and type of venues on the schedule for 2020. That didn't help an artist like Keith Urban (No. 9), because his major tour is coming in 2021. It also hurt an artist like Eric Church, who isn't touring in 2020 and hasn't formally announced plans to release new music this year.
Combs and Kane Brown win the consumption metric, a catch-all phrase for how much of their music is downloaded, streamed and played on the radio. The two Sony artists have two albums each on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart every week. That bests Luke Bryan (No. 2) and Carrie Underwood (unranked) who haven't held the same kind of foothold.
Spotify monthly users are also factored into an unscientific equation that also considers how and if an artist is getting on television. Blake Shelton is on almost weekly, but the "God's Country" singer is also enjoying some of his greatest album and touring success of the last decade. He's quietly become a force yet again.
This list of the hottest country artists is focused on this year, not old albums, past tours or future plans.
These Are Country Music's Top 10 Artists of 2020: