Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood Are Top Acts of the Decade
As 2009 draws to a close, Billboard has compiled a list of the top artists, albums and songs of the past decade, and once again, country artists have a lot to celebrate as the 2000's wind down.
Toby Keith, who launched his career more than 15 years ago, has become Billboard's Country Artist of the Decade, thanks to an astonishing seven No.1 albums in the past 10 years and a long list of No.1 hits, including 'Beer for My Horses' (with Willie Nelson) and 'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).' Joining Toby in the top five are Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and George Strait.
A decade ago, Carrie Underwood was in high school, dreaming of becoming a famous singer. Fast forward ten years and the newly-engaged Oklahoma beauty finishes 2009 with Billboard's Top Country Album of the Decade, thanks to her debut project, 'Some Hearts,' recorded after successfully winning 'American Idol' in 2005. The album sold almost seven million copies, and spawned three No.1 singles, including the hit, 'Jesus Take the Wheel.'
'Some Hearts' is followed by the 'O, Brother Where Are Thou?' soundtrack, the Dixie Chicks in both the third and fourth slot, with 'Fly' and 'Home,' and Faith Hill's 'Breathe' rounding out the top five.
Faith Hill may not have made it to the top of any of the decade's country charts, but she was the No.1 Adult Contemporary Artist of the Decade. She's followed by Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys, Five for Fighting and Michael Buble. Faith also scored on Entertainment Weekly's Most-Played Artists of the Decade, not once but twice, with her hits 'Breathe' and 'The Way You Love Me.'