Hayden Panettiere, Kelly Clarkson, Nicole Kidman and more stars have all stepped out of their comfort zones — and into their cowboy boots — to get into the country groove.
Panettiere starred on Nashville from October 2012 to July 2018, portraying rising country star Juliette Barnes, and recording more than 40 songs for the soundtrack.
In real life, Clarkson has also dipped a toe into the country world,teaming up with Jason Aldean for 2010’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The Texas native has some strong feelings about how the genre has developed over time.
“Country music doesn’t sound country anymore … Country music is gone,” she said during a 2019 YouTube Q&A. “Like, I don’t know who’s making it, but there might be, like, four people. Now it’s, like, weird word rap.”
Her quibbles with the genre were personal, not professional. “I’m not in the country music industry. I’m not trying to get played on country radio,” Clarkson explained, suggesting that musicians put on “’80s and ‘90s records on and let’s figure out, ‘What is country music? What’s the sound we like again?’ Because it’s not what you’re playing on the radio. I’m mad about it.”
Keep scrolling for a look at how some of the biggest names in Hollywood have embraced country roots: