1998 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1998.

List of years in country music (table)


  • January 10 — "Retro Country USA," a weekly two-hour syndicated radio program spotlighting major country hits of the 1980s (along with some from the 1970s and early 1990s), premieres. The show is initially hosted by Tampa radio personality Ken Cooper, and later "Big" Steve Kelly.
  • February 25 — Johnny Cash's album, Unchained, wins a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. The album had been a critical success but was largely ignored by mainstream country radio, a fact Cash and producer Rick Rubin pick up on when they purchase a full-page advertisement in Billboard magazine. The ad, which appeared in March, featured a young Cash displaying his middle finger and sarcastically "thanking" radio for supporting the album.
  • June 30 — The divorce of Vince and Janis Gill (of Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is finalized.
  • December — The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honors Willie Nelson for his lifetime contributions to the arts. Nelson is the first primarily country performer so honored.

Top hits of the year[edit]

Singles released by American artists[edit]

US CAN Single Artist Reference
16 7 Absence of the Heart Deana Carter
4 6 Angel in My Eyes John Michael Montgomery
2 3 Between the Devil and Me Alan Jackson
1 17 A Broken Wing Martina McBride
26 14 Burnin' the Roadhouse Down Steve Wariner (duet with Garth Brooks)
1 1 Bye, Bye Jo Dee Messina
11 17 A Chance Kenny Chesney
14 12 Come Some Rainy Day Wynonna
4 4 Commitment LeAnn Rimes
3 2 Cover You in Kisses John Michael Montgomery
5 9 The Day That She Left Tulsa (In a Chevy) Wade Hayes
2 2 Don't Laugh at Me Mark Wills
5 3 Dream Walkin' Toby Keith
2 3 Everything's Changed Lonestar
4 4 Forever Love Reba McEntire
18 22 Getcha Some Toby Keith
2 4 Happy Girl Martina McBride
2 3 He's Got You Brooks & Dunn
20 20 High on Love Patty Loveless
9 4 The Hole Randy Travis
2 2 Holes in the Floor of Heaven Steve Wariner
1 1 How Long Gone Brooks & Dunn
18 14 A House with No Curtains Alan Jackson
2 9 How Do You Fall in Love Alabama
13 30 How Do You Sleep at Night Wade Hayes
1 2 Husbands and Wives Brooks & Dunn
7 3 I Can Love You Better Dixie Chicks
1 2 I Can Still Feel You Collin Raye
2 3 I Do (Cherish You) Mark Wills
1 1 I Just Want to Dance with You George Strait
18 8 I Might Even Quit Lovin' You Mark Chesnutt
12 7 I Said a Prayer Pam Tillis
3 1 I Wanna Fall in Love Lila McCann
9 28 I Wanna Feel That Way Again Tracy Byrd
20 31 I Wanna Remember This Linda Davis
3 2 I'll Go On Loving You Alan Jackson
1 1 I'm Alright Jo Dee Messina
3 1 I'm from the Country Tracy Byrd
2 4 I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying Toby Keith with Sting
3 10 If I Never Stop Loving You David Kersh
22 15 If You Can't Be Good (Be Good at It) Neal McCoy
5 1 If You Ever Have Forever in Mind Vince Gill
1 1 If You See Him/If You See Her Reba McEntire / Brooks & Dunn
4 4 Imagine That Diamond Rio
1 10 It Must Be Love Ty Herndon
7 23 It Would Be You Gary Allan
9 5 It's Your Song Garth Brooks
12 9 Just Between You and Me The Kinleys
3 4 Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me Faith Hill (with Tim McGraw)
1 1 Just to See You Smile Tim McGraw
1 1 Let Me Let Go Faith Hill
2 3 A Little Past Little Rock Lee Ann Womack
3 1 Little Red Rodeo Collin Raye
11 10 Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone Trace Adkins
12 6 Loosen Up My Strings Clint Black
2 3 Love of My Life Sammy Kershaw
14 8 Love Working on You John Michael Montgomery
5 14 A Man Holdin' On (To a Woman Lettin' Go) Ty Herndon
1 1 Nothin' but the Taillights Clint Black
10 5 Nothin' New Under the Moon LeAnn Rimes
4 9 On the Side of Angels LeAnn Rimes
2 1 One of These Days Tim McGraw
14 12 One of Those Nights Tonight Lorrie Morgan
16 22 One Small Miracle Bryan White
2 1 Out of My Bones Randy Travis
1 1 Perfect Love Trisha Yearwood
1 1 Round About Way George Strait
13 23 Say When Lonestar
2 1 She's Gonna Make It Garth Brooks
21 10 She's Got That Look in Her Eyes Alabama
1 1 The Shoes You're Wearing Clint Black
33 18 Somebody to Love Suzy Bogguss
3 5 Someone You Used to Know Collin Raye
16 10 Stepping Stone Lari White
23 13 Still in Love with You Travis Tritt
4 15 Texas Size Heartache Joe Diffie
2 9 That's Why I'm Here Kenny Chesney
2 4 Then What? Clay Walker
2 4 There Goes My Baby Trisha Yearwood
1 3 There's Your Trouble Dixie Chicks
17 23 Things Change Dwight Yoakam
1 1 This Kiss Faith Hill
12 17 To Have You Back Again Patty Loveless
1 7 To Make You Feel My Love Garth Brooks
8 5 Too Good to Be True Michael Peterson
2 1 True George Strait
1 1 Two Piña Coladas Garth Brooks
9 14 Valentine Martina McBride with special guest artist Jim Brickman
4 2 We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This George Strait
23 19 What If? Reba McEntire
1 1 What If I Said Anita Cochran (duet with Steve Wariner)
1 1 Where the Green Grass Grows Tim McGraw
18 18 Where Your Road Leads Trisha Yearwood (duet with Garth Brooks)
1 1 Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks
3 1 You Move Me Garth Brooks
12 4 You Walked In Lonestar
19 12 You'll Never Know Mindy McCready
4 5 You're Gone Diamond Rio
2 2 You've Got to Talk to Me Lee Ann Womack

Singles released by Canadian artists[edit]

US CAN Single Artist Reference
3 1 26 Cents The Wilkinsons
5 Canadian Sunrise Prairie Oyster
20 Chevy Blue Eyes Brent McAthey
7 Cried All the Way Home Jamie Warren
3 Diamond Julian Austin
17 Do the Math George Fox
6 1 Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) Shania Twain
15 Falling Bruce Guthro
73 6 Famous First Words Gil Grand
6 1 From This Moment On Shania Twain (with Bryan White)
10 Get Hot or Go Home Rick Tippe
13 Hard Time Loving You Julian Austin
10 Has Anybody Seen My Angel Denise Murray
9 Haven't You Heard Shirley Myers
1 1 Honey, I'm Home Shania Twain
59 19 How Do I Let Go Lisa Brokop
12 I Read Lips Thomas Wade & Wayward
6 I'm Gone George Fox
15 I'm Gonna Make Her Mine Jason McCoy
10 If I Could Just Get to You Duane Steele
50 1 The Kind of Heart That Breaks Chris Cummings
17 Let's Kiss and Make Up Beverley Mahood with Ken Munshaw
55 17 Let's Start Livin' Gil Grand
3 A Little Bit of You Jason McCoy
12 A Little Bit of Your Love Joel Feeney
9 A Minute and a Half Chris Cummings
7 Movin' On The Rankins
14 Never Givin' Up Rick Tippe
2 2 Now That I Found You Terri Clark
9 One Last Step Shirley Myers
3 Outside the Frame Paul Brandt
17 Radio 101 Beverley Mahood
19 The River Song Montgomery Steele
20 She Made Me an Offer Rick Tippe
4 Some Days Are Better Charlie Major
12 There's a Song in There Somewhere Thomas Wade & Wayward
20 Two Out of Three Ain't Bad Julian Austin
18 Underneath the Moon Montana Sky
1 Walk This Road Bruce Guthro
10 The Way Love Goes Jamie Warren
12 What My Heart Already Knows Julian Austin
68 10 What's Come Over You Paul Brandt
20 What's Not to Love Lisa Brokop
19 A Whole Lot of Love Montana Sky
12 Woman's Work Tracey Brown
5 Yeah! Paul Brandt
10 You Can Trust in My Love Charlie Major
1 1 You're Easy on the Eyes Terri Clark
1 1 You're Still the One Shania Twain
74 15 Your Love Jim Brickman with Michelle Wright

Top new album releases[edit]

US CAN Album Artist Record Label
18 Ain't It the Truth Daryle Singletary Giant
21 The Apostle Soundtrack Various Artists Decca Nashville
9 14 Back with a Heart Olivia Newton-John MCA Nashville
13 12 The Best of Tracy Lawrence Tracy Lawrence Atlantic
22 31 Big Hopes Ty Herndon Epic
6 Breath of Heaven: A Christmas Collection Vince Gill MCA Nashville
6 15 Burnin' the Roadhouse Down Steve Wariner Capitol Nashville
14 Car Wheels on a Gravel Road Lucinda Williams Mercury
3 CMT Canada '99 Various Artists BMG
2 Country Heat 1998 Various Artists Ariola
22 A Country Superstar Christmas Various Artists Hip-O
16 Did I Shave My Back for This? Cledus T. Judd Razor & Tie
16 Dorkfish Bill Engvall Warner Bros.
1 1 Double Live Garth Brooks Capitol Nashville
6 11 Everything's Gonna Be Alright Deana Carter Capitol Nashville
2 1 Faith Faith Hill Warner Bros.
22 Famous First Words Gil Grand Monument
39 17 Farmers in a Changing World The Tractors Arista Nashville
2 4 For the Record Alabama RCA Nashville
21 Greatest Hits Joe Diffie Epic
9 18 Greatest Hits Clay Walker Giant
5 Greatest Hits Volume One Toby Keith Mercury Nashville
1 1 High Mileage Alan Jackson Arista Nashville
1 3 Hope Floats Soundtrack Various Artists Capitol Nashville
13 20 The Horse Whisperer Soundtrack Various Artists MCA Nashville
19 How Big a Boy Are Ya? Volume 4 Roy D. Mercer Capitol Nashville
10 4 How I Feel Terri Clark Mercury Nashville
23 Hungry Again Dolly Parton Decca Nashville
5 5 I'm Alright Jo Dee Messina Curb
8 9 I'm from the Country Tracy Byrd MCA Nashville
13 If I Never Stop Loving You David Kersh Curb
4 7 If You See Her Brooks & Dunn Arista Nashville
2 7 If You See Him Reba McEntire MCA Nashville
37 15 It Don't Get Any Better Than This George Jones MCA Nashville
21 It Would Be You Gary Allan Decca Nashville
3 It's Now! It's Live! The Mavericks MCA Nashville
1 2 The Key Vince Gill MCA Nashville
15 26 Leave a Mark John Michael Montgomery Atlantic
1 1 The Limited Series Garth Brooks Capitol Nashville
11 12 A Long Way Home Dwight Yoakam Reprise
3 Moments and Memories: The Best of Reba Reba McEntire MCA Nashville
2 New Country 5 Various Artists Warner
15 No More Looking over My Shoulder Travis Tritt Warner Bros.
11 4 No Place That Far Sara Evans RCA Nashville
16 4 Nothing but Love The Wilkinsons Giant
6 Of Your Son Bruce Guthro EMI
24 One Road Man Chris LeDoux Capitol Nashville
1 3 One Step at a Time George Strait MCA Nashville
8 6 The Prince of Egypt (Nashville) Various Artists DreamWorks Nashville
32 9 Shot Full of Love Billy Ray Cyrus Monument
2 2 Sittin' on Top of the World LeAnn Rimes Curb
25 11 The Sky's the Limit BlackHawk Arista Nashville
20 Some Things I Know Lee Ann Womack Decca Nashville
9 Step Inside This House Lyle Lovett MCA Nashville
18 1 Tammy Wynette Remembered Various Artists Asylum
17 15 Teatro Willie Nelson Island
3 4 Touched by an Angel: The Album Various Artists Epic
8 21 Totally Committed Jeff Foxworthy Warner Bros.
9 3 Trampoline The Mavericks MCA Nashville
36 18 Tribute to Tradition Various Artists Columbia
12 Ultimate Country Party Various Artists Arista Nashville
9 2 Unbelievable Diamond Rio Arista Nashville
25 VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson Columbia
8 13 The Walls Came Down Collin Raye Epic
11 What Is This Country? Prairie Oyster ViK.
23 What This Country Needs Aaron Tippin Lyric Street
9 22 When the Wrong One Loves You Right Wade Hayes Columbia
21 When You Get to Be You Lisa Brokop Columbia
3 2 Where Your Road Leads Trisha Yearwood MCA Nashville
9 White Christmas Martina McBride RCA Nashville
1 1 Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks Monument
47 19 Wine Into Water T. Graham Brown Intersound
8 Wish You Were Here Mark Wills Mercury Nashville
7 You and You Alone Randy Travis DreamWorks Nashville

Other top albums[edit]

US CAN Album Artist Record Label
55 16 Biggest Hits Merle Haggard Epic
50 16 Biggest Hits George Jones Epic
29 16 Biggest Hits Willie Nelson Columbia
75 29 Nights Danni Leigh Decca Nashville
73 Beautiful Day in the Cold Cruel World The Warren Brothers BNA
38 The Best of John Denver John Denver Madacy
38 Big Backyard Beat Show BR5-49 Arista Nashville
30 Black Dog Soundtrack Various Artists Decca Nashville
69 Break in the Storm The Great Divide Atlantic
58 The Civil War: The Nashville Sessions Various Artists Atlantic
71 Closing in on the Fire Waylon Jennings Ark 21
50 Country Christmas Classics Various Artists RCA Nashville
63 The Essential Alabama Alabama RCA Nashville
73 The Essential Lorrie Morgan Lorrie Morgan BNA
26 Every Time Pam Tillis Arista Nashville
52 Fiddle Fire: 25 Years of the CDB Charlie Daniels Blue Hat
66 Greatest #1 Hits Randy Travis Warner Bros.
36 Greatest Country Hits John Denver RCA
47 Greatest Hits Restless Heart RCA Nashville
73 Hangin' with Rodney Rodney Carrington Mercury Nashville
37 I Saw the Light Hal Ketchum Curb
69 I Turn the Page Don Williams Giant
70 I'm Just That Way Mark Nesler Asylum
61 I'm Yours Linda Davis DreamWorks Nashville
57 Keep on Rockin' Confederate Railroad Atlantic
34 Long Walk Back Junior Brown Curb
38 Love Is Kevin Sharp Asylum
66 The Lynns The Lynns Reprise
42 Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt Suzy Bogguss Capitol Nashville
27 A Paul Brandt Christmas: Shall I Play for You? Paul Brandt Reprise
41 Real Man Billy Dean Capitol Nashville
57 Rhythm and Country Elvis Presley RCA
36 Secret Love Lorrie Morgan BNA
27 Spyboy Emmylou Harris Eminent
50 Stepping Stone Lari White Lyric Street
38 The Strong One Mila Mason Atlantic
72 Super Hits John Anderson BNA
53 Super Hits Lorrie Morgan BNA
72 Super Hits Aaron Tippin RCA Nashville
59 Super Hits II Alabama RCA Nashville
55 Twistin' in the Wind Joe Ely MCA Nashville
33 What Livin's All About Rhett Akins Decca Nashville
56 Write It in Stone Keith Harling MCA Nashville


  • January 7 — Owen Bradley, 82, legendary record producer for top artists. (respiratory illness)
  • January 17 — Cliffie Stone, 80, music executive and bassist.
  • January 19 — Carl Perkins, 65, top picker and rockabilly artist. (complications from multiple strokes)
  • January 24 — Justin Tubb, 62, singer-songwriter who fused honky-tonk and rockabilly in the 1950s.
  • February 19 — Grandpa Jones, 84, banjo player, old-time country/gospel singer, comedian and regular on "Hee Haw" (stroke)
  • February 25 — Rockin' Sidney Simien, 59, rhythm and blues, Zydeco, and soul musician best known to country audiences for his 1985 hit, "My Toot Toot." (cancer)
  • April 6 — Tammy Wynette, 55, top country female vocalist of the 1960s and 1970s, best known for hits "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "Stand By Your Man." (blood clot)
  • April 16 — Rose Maddox, 71, female honky-tonk and rockabilly pioneer who fronted the Maddox Brothers and Rose (kidney failure)
  • May 7 — Eddie Rabbitt, 56, prolific songwriter and pop-country vocalist who once had 35 Top 10 hits in as many releases. (lung cancer)
  • May 22 - Royce Kendall, 62, sang alongside daughter, Jeannie Kendall, of The Kendalls. (stroke)
  • June 10 — Steve Sanders, 45, member of the Oak Ridge Boys from 1987 to 1995; replaced and succeeded by William Lee Golden. (suicide)
  • July 6 — Roy Rogers, 86, actor, singer and "King of the Cowboys." (congestive heart failure)
  • October 2 — Gene Autry, 91, actor and "The Singing Cowboy" (lymphoma).

Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Country Music Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Juno Awards[edit]

Academy of Country Music[edit]

Canadian Country Music Association[edit]

Country Music Association[edit]

RPM Big Country Awards[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kingsbury, Paul, "The Grand Ole Opry: History of Country Music. 70 Years of the Songs, the Stars and the Stories," Villard Books, Random House; Opryland USA, 1995
  • Kingsbury, Paul, "Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers 1947-1989," Country Music Foundation, 2003 (ISBN 0-8118-3572-3)
  • Millard, Bob, "Country Music: 70 Years of America's Favorite Music," HarperCollins, New York, 1993 (ISBN 0-06-273244-7)
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition." 2005.

Other links[edit]

External links[edit]