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Collin Raye Says Modern Country Music Is ‘Dumbed Down’

Collin Raye
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Collin Raye soared to the top of the charts in the ’90s, with powerful songs like ‘Love, Me’ and ‘My Kind of Girl.’ One of the most successful country artists of his generation, Raye has released more than a dozen albums, as well as over 40 singles, 22 of which landed in the Top 10.

The 53-year-old says he is disappointed with the direction country music is currently heading.

“I’m really depressed at how it has dumbed down to basically just a one dimensional ‘lets party in the truck, gonna drink some cold beer,” he admits to Fox News.

Raye acknowledges that he misses the way country music used to be.

“I grew up at a time when Merle Haggard was writing stuff like ‘Mama’s Hungry Eyes’ and ‘Sing Me Back Home’ and [Kris] Kristofferson was writing ’Sunday Morning Coming Down’ and ‘Me and Bobby McGee,'” he says. “It was poetry. Country music has never been about chord progression or the complexity of the music. It’s always been about lyrics and stories and real slices of life.”

Not that the Arkansas native blames the artists that are currently storming up the charts and selling out arenas. He says the fault lies with those who never even stand behind a microphone.

“I’m not begrudging anybody their living,” he says. “They’re just trying to make a living. It’s the ‘gatekeepers’ that we used to have in Nashville, which are the label heads who used to decide what was good enough to put out and what was not. And now they have just totally given in to that.”

Raye, who released his latest album, ‘Still on the Line…The Songs of Glen Campbell’ last year, says he has always had a deep appreciation for the music that made him a household name.

“I’m passionate about it because I love our genre,” he concedes. “I got into country music not to make a buck. I did it because I love it.”

Next: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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