At the end of 2012, I sat down to make my predictions for the year in country music that would be 2013.  Of course, things I never would have seen were the deaths of country legends like George Jones and Ray Price, or the controversy over today's new sound, but those things will play a major roll in what happens in 2014.  Before we get to those predictions, let's see how I did with this year.

More New Outlaws Will Appear

I predicted that we'd see more guys like Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert making a sound we aren't used to in country music the norm.  While we didn't really hear more folks like those two (or even much from those two themselves) for most of 2013, we did get a 'new sound' for better of for worse, and plenty of new guys doing it.  The sound?  Hip Hop influence.  The new guys doing it?  Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, plus Luke Bryan, and Jerrod Niemann stepped on that band wagon.  It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

The New Class Rules

I have to admit, I nailed this one when I said of Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Eric Church, "I expect to see their names replacing names like Chesney, Paisley, and McGraw in most award shows."  That's exactly what happened, and except for George Strait picking up what amounted to a win out of respect for CMA Entertainer of the Year, these guys ruled the awards, and I expect they'll continue to do so, ousting even more mainstays like Keith Urban and Blake Shelton along the way.

Florida Georgia Line

Could I have been more right about this one.  I said at the end of last year that these two were poised to be the 'next Brooks & Dunn.'  And, ' I think Florida Georgia Line is that duo to take over.  The fast success of their debut single, ‘Cruise’ was proof that they know how to appeal to the country audience and much of their debut CD is like that one, so full speed ahead boys!'  As one of the biggest acts in country with 4 straight number ones, and a headlining tour that is selling out all over...I win this one.

Speaking of Duos

Another year and more waiting for the LoCash Cowboys.  I predicted they would break out in 2013, after having written big hits for Keith Urban and Tim McGraw in 2012, but they are still on the cusp, nationally.  They did, however get a major charting single, that is still rising in the form of 'Best Seat In The House.'  It remains to be seen what the country music world does from here.  Sentimental songs are not the 'rage' right now, but LoCash has an album full of that other trendy stuff too, so it remains to be seen.

Still Speaking of Duos

Man, another nail hit square on the head on this one.  I predicted that Sugarland would go their separate ways with no hits in 2013.  More than that I also said, 'Jennifer Nettles will go solo, and still be unable to score a Top 20 hit on her own.'  This week Jennifer's first solo single, 'That Girl' has dropped from 38 to 40 on the current carts.  I rest my case.

He’s Back

Wow, I'm on a roll ya'll.  Here's my entire quote predicting a Garth return in 2013: "Mark my words, we will hear a brand new single from Grath Brooks by year’s end.  It will sound like nothing we’ve ever heard from Garth before and the hit will be a setup for the new world tour that will happen in 2014."  The live duet, "The Call" from Garth and Trisha Yearwood was released last week and he also announced his world tour on GMA.  Swish!

Tate Stevens

I came at this guy with some hesitation immediately following his X-Factor win, saying "This is a tough one.  I’ve heard both sides of the argument, but I believe the X-Factor champion will have a couple singles in 2013.  Neither will hit number one, but make a respectable showing."  OK, one single.  Not-so-respectable showing.  Tate is off the map.

Artists That Will Break Through in 2013

OK, let's see how well this one worked out:

Thomas Rhett - First number one and hit album!  Check!

Tyler Farr - First number one and hit album! Check!

Sarah Darling - Left record label, is releasing singles on her own, but got married in a secret ceremony, so she's got that going for her.

LoCash Cowboys - See above

The Henningsens - A top 20 single and a top 40 single.  Not bad, but a little lost in the male-dominated, tailgate, beer world.

JoAnna Smith - So talented, yet dropped from her label right during her big re-launch.  Boo.

Well, all in all it was a pretty good year for my predictions, I will be making my picks for 2014 soon, so keep it here to read them.