Just yesterday (December 18th, 2022), Rolling Stone released their annual list of the best country albums of the year. There are 25 different albums on the list, but it was number one that caught our eye!

According to the writers at Rolling Stone, Eastern Iowa-native Hailey Whitters has been given the honor of Best Country Album of 2022 with her third release, Raised. The article reads:

"The third album from the Nashville by-way-of Shueyville, Iowa, singer-songwriter is a tour-de-force reflection on Whitters’ small Midwestern hometown roots that traverses rock (“Middle of America”), folksy country (the title track), and grooving country-pop á la Thomas Rhett (“The Neon”). The sounds, styles, and storytelling come together in a halfway point between John Mellencamp and Kacey Musgraves, matching the heartland romanticism of the former with the witty small-town claustrophobia of the latter’s early work. The result is a thrilling collection that masterfully walks the line between big-time country commerce and renegade rootsiness. –J.B"

Hailey released Raised back in March, and the album includes 17 tracks inspired by growing up in Iowa. "Everything She Ain't" is her current single, but some of our other favorites include "Boys Back Home," "Beer Tastes Better," "In a Field Somewhere," and "Our Grass is Legal." Hailey describes that album as "a love letter to the people and place that raised me."

Rolling Stone isn't the only publication that named Raised as one of the best country albums of the year! It came in at number five on Billboard's list, number nine on Stereogum's, and number one on Holler's. We're thrilled to see our hometown girl getting the national recognition that she deserves!

Hailey Whitters is gearing up for a busy 2023. She's already set to play a number of country music festivals, she's opening select dates for Shania Twain's Queen of Me tour, and she's going on another solo tour! Hailey's nine-date Raised Tour will kick off February 23rd in Bloomington, Indiana and end at Wooly's in Des Moines on April 1st. There is also Eastern Iowa show on March 30th at Wildwood Smokehouse in Iowa City.  You can get tickets for all her upcoming shows online HERE.

Check Out the Best-Selling Album From the Year You Graduated High School

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.

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