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Apple Music Sets Its Sights on Country

Apple Music Country launches with new personalities and artist-led programming

Kelleigh Bannen continues her role as a daily on-air host with the newly launched Apple Music Country.

John Shearer*

On Tuesday, Apple announced the launch of two new streaming radio stations, Apple Music Country and Apple Music Hits. Both are live now alongside the flagship station Beats 1, which has been renamed Apple Music 1. Originally launched alongside Apple Music in 2015, Beats 1 built its reputation on a combination of in-depth interviews and music discovery.

Several country artists will head up exclusive shows for Apple Music Country, including Dierks Bentley, who will host The Nashville Countdown, Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Breland, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line, Pat Green, Willie Jones, Chrissy Metz, Midland, Rissi Palmer, the Shires, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen. Additionally, the station will feature exclusive new programs from producers Dave Cobb, Jesse Frasure, and Luke Laird, as well as journalist (and RSC contributor) Hunter Kelly.

In addition to featuring music from country stars of past, present and tomorrow, Apple Music Country will highlight the growing diversity of the genre with a variety of new programming. Singer-songwriter Kelleigh Bannen, who has helmed the first country-focused radio show for Beats 1 since November 2019, will return as a daily on-air host.

New programming started at 12 pm ET on Tuesday, with shows on deck including Carrie Underwood’s monthly XO Radio, Luke Bryan’s Party Barn Radio, Jimmie Allen’s Wild Card Radio, and Dierks Bentley’s The Nashville Countdown.

Also joining as daily on-air personalities will be former Cumulus syndicated morning show host Ty Bentli, former CMT Hot 20 Countdown host Alecia Davis, Ward Guenther, the founder of popular songwriter’s night Whiskey Jam, former Bobby Bones Show staffer Nada, and Nashville singer-songwriter Tiera. Media personality Ashley Eicher and the host of the performance series  Hangin’ & Sangin’ Kelly McCartney will be featured in weekly shows.

From Rolling Stone US