Social Question

rockfan's avatar

Do you think it's possible for a mainstream country singer to be openly atheist and still be successful?

Asked by rockfan (2441 points ) December 15th, 2012

Your thoughts?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’m not sure how a person’s belief system would determine their success. I honestly have no idea what or how singers or groups that I like believe or what their religious affiliations are.
So to answer your question, yes I think a person can be openly atheist and still be successful.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@chyna generally I’d agree with you here but it seems highly unlikely for country music. It’d be like electing a president who was openly atheist.

Coloma's avatar

Since when does ones faith have anything to do with creating art and music. True, country is kinda synonymous with god fearin’, jesus why’d ya let my Chevy die, but….it shouldn’t matter.
Personally I find most country tunes to be more about the usual, sad sack, cry me a river, I’m loveless and my dog died and my truck took a dump and my boots are worn out, and oh lord, life’s just so dang hard. lol

ragingloli's avatar

That person must be an atheist for the wrong reasons then, because no sane person would be a country singer.

JLeslie's avatar

They would have to come out after already being famous I think. If they announce being an atheist when they are first coming up in the country music world it would be very difficult.

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma Ha ha!! Ill be singing along with them!

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy Yeah me too lately.

Oh lord, why’d my heater crap out on the eve of 2 weeks of snow
and that cold winds a’ howlin’ while I blow my poor nose
and I’m out of toilet paper so blowin’s a drag
but thank you lord, at least I’m not on the rag lol

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I feel for you.. wait

♪♫ I feel for you , I really do, but how the hell, did your truck do a poo?”♪ ♪

Shippy's avatar

^^ you did say your truck did a dump

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy Haha….no, my car blew a C02 sensor, but not a complete dump, yet anyway. lol
I think I should post a question about writing a country western song. haha

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

For me country music is likely to turn me to religion because if a song comes on the radio and I hear it my automatic response is usually along the lines of please God turn that off.

Blackberry's avatar

Nope. The culture is god guns and conservative.

Coloma's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine LOL…agreed. I’d rather listen to the Sesame Street tune over and over again than country. Talk about mental torture.

Lightlyseared's avatar

In fundamentalist theocracy like the US?

mazingerz88's avatar

Now this question, is just ripe deserving of a country music song all by itself. Anyone like to join me in writing the lyrics-? I’ll start…

Drivin down the highway, country wind on my hair
Hear a whisper arisin, a question hitchhikin

Coloma's avatar

* my old houndss a’ snorin’ my gas pedals florin’
the rain it is a’ pourin’
and my baby pops a cold one
and hands me my coon gun…..

JenniferP's avatar

There are all sorts of actors and actresses that are atheist and no one cares. The only music genre that it would affect would be gospel music.

Bellatrix's avatar

I really hope so! How does being misguided enough to love country music and wanting to produce and perform it pertain to religion? The same goes for any genre of music, film or other art form. Although I am not sure country music can be classified as art.

Coloma's avatar

@Bellatrix Hahaha….”misguided enough to love country music….

Paradox25's avatar

I believe they could since not everyone who likes country music (including myself) are Christians. There are other’s around the world who are country fans as well. An openly atheistic country performer would likely lose much of their conservative Christian fanbase in America though, and I really do believe that.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t think any kind of music has the amount of haters that country music has. Well, being from the South, the stuff is everywhere and I actually like it. There’s some goofy songs out there and the old stuff is pretty painful, but the newer stuff has a bit of a rock feel that I like a lot. Jason Aldean is a good example.

As for the question, I think it would cause an issue. Should it matter? No. But the fact of the matter is that a lot of southerners, where country music is most prevalent in the US, are religious (I’m the exception, I suppose) and wouldn’t like it much.

Apparently Hank Williams III is an athiest, but I’ve honestly never heard a song by him.

Coloma's avatar

Admittedly I do LOVE old Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins, but that’s about it for me.

Shippy's avatar

♪Oh Lawd its hard to be happy
when your bones are all old and snappy
you’re all bent over and sore
and the rain continues to pour

Ooooh Laawwd
Its hard to be happy
when you can’t even afford your own nappy…..♪

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Haha…very good!

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy that is brilliant lol

Rarebear's avatar

I’m openly atheist and I love signing gospel bluegrass music in my band. But I’m not a famous bluegrass musician, though.

Symbeline's avatar

Probably, if they’re innovative enough and know how to spread to several different kinds of audiences. For example, a lot of rappers actually believe in God. Whether that’s true or just show, couldn’t say, I don’t listen to much rap.
And don’t quote me, but metal country actually exists, too. now whether it’s successful or not, I don’t know…

Point is, people can do countless things with music and song.

and I’m sexy like a tractor bitches

Despite all that, innovation doesn’t mean you have to stray from the roots of the genre you enjoy performing, I guess? so many metal songs are just violent romance songs and have nothing to do with serial killing, hardy har har

sinscriven's avatar

No chance in hell.
Their strongest demographic is white southerners who are conservative and bordering on jingoistic and try to merge their political and spiritual convictions together.

The dixie chicks were wildly popular until they criticized the bush administration and were made pariahs overnight and treated like the anti-christ.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Probably not. We here in Middle America/South, would probably not support that.

You could try to keep it on the Down Low, but country singers have to really open themselves to the public, more so that other genre’s, that’s why they have extremely loyal fans.

Seek's avatar

Openly? No.

However, if someone wanted a very easy career and looked good in a pair of Wranglers, I wouldn’t begrudge them lying their way into Nashville.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Actually I thought of this last night when Blake Shelton was talking about finding men and women attractive and being drunk all the time. There are several country singers who are not Christians or at least don’t announce they are Christians, so give it a shot.

People should judge you on your talent itself, not your religious affiliation or lack of. Or you can marry a little country sweetheart like Miranda and you get a free pass….I’m thinking Taylor Swift- lol

livelaughlove21's avatar

@KNOWITALL Why not? She’s got a new beau every week. Gotta be careful though, or he might have a break-up song written about him.

But now that I think of it, Jason Aldean has a song with these lyrics:

“There’s only two means of salvation around here that seem to work
Whiskey or the bible, shot glass or revival

When you don’t seem to run on either side of the fence
People act like you don’t make sense
These big town dreams that I’ve been chasing
Will never come true if I wind up staying

And I don’t want, to fall in, the same rut, that everybody who seems to be stuck in now
Why do I hang around
In this church pew or bar stool kinda town”

So, while he may not be an athiest, he’s certainly no bible thumper either. And he’s about as mainstream as it gets in countr music right now.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That is another genre of country music, called Red Dirt, and they are country’s rebels, so yeah you’re right. Now Josh Turner, whole different thing going on there. :)

livelaughlove21's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’ve never heard of red dirt…interesting. And here I thought all country singers were “rebels”. :)

Blech, Josh Turner. He hasn’t released one song I can stand. “I wouldn’t be a man if a woman like you was anything I could resist”? Uhhhh…

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yeah, it’s really popular now, have you heard of the Old Crow Medicine Show? It’s fabulous, but I’m partial to rockabilly….lol

Now now, Josh Turner has a great voice, Long Black Train, sounds kinda like Johnny Cash sometimes!? And he’s kinda cute in a goody goody way. Got my picture with him, too. Grrrrr…..haha!

JLeslie's avatar

This Q reminds me of that country singer who came out about being a Lesbian. I think she did have a lot of negative backlash and her record sales dropped. She had a lot of support from people outside of that community of course, but within the country community it was a little tough. I think her name is Shelli Wright? Something like that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes, country fans are very different. They truly get INVOLVED in the lives of their country singers and dj’s, etc…very unlike rock and top 40. I think they identify with them, that’s why originally I said I didn’t think it would go over well, and I still don’t, but if the singer is doing rockabilly instead of traditional country (think Taylor Swift squeaky clean images) then it shouldn’t be a big issue on the world stage.

I remember it caused a big stir when Garth divorced his wife to marry Tricia Yearwood, it was a big deal. Randy Travis and the drinking. Leanne Rhimes pretty much gave her career up for love, since she broke up a marriage and then married her lover. Most just try to hide faults that could end their careers.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Truly get involved, or truly are judgmental and have peer pressure to only show support for those who follow what their churches preach?

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, truly get involved. I’m not saying there’s not some who are judgemental because I won’t lie to you because sometimes our faith affects all aspects of our lives, which it is supposed to do.

I’ve worked in radio for quite awhile now, and country fans will show up in cold, rain, etc…the others really won’t. We do charity events and if a country dj goes and talks it up, people will actually show up and the charity benefits. If we do a Top 40 playing Rhianna, no one shows or maybe just a couple.

Seek's avatar

Sometimes your faith affects the lives of others, too. Which it’s not supposed to do.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s kind of like the two extremes in one place. The country fans, and I would say bible belt in general, are a very cohesive group, and they will show support for each other, even give up time and give money…but you better fit in.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, or be a good actor/actress. ;)

@Seek_Kolinahr Well actually it is supposed to affect the lives of others in a positive way. Unfortunately it doesn’t always end up doing that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

BTW- I’m not a huge country fan, I’m more of a Screamo-type Christian myself….seriously.

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