Not to be whiners, but when will country music get another turn? Many country fans likely ask that very question every year about this time, when the Super Bowl comes around.

This year saw a glamourous halftime show by Beyonce (see photos of her performance); in recent years, halftime highlights have included Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Prince.

Looking back at the history of halftime performances, country music last took center stage in 2003, when Shania Twain shared the stage with Sting and No Doubt. Before that, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, and The Judds performed “Rockin’ Country Sunday” in 1994.

Country is more than ready for another turn. Below are five artists we think are strong candidates to play the next Super Bowl halftime show.

1) Taylor Swift

With four best-selling albums under her belt, and a number of massive international tours, 23-year-old Taylor is more than ready for this kind of high-profile, high-intensity performance. It’s possible she may still be perceived as a bit too girly and young for the gig, but watch out–Taylor is full of surprises and is already changing to show a more ‘grown up’ persona.

2) Kenny Chesney

Kenny regularly sells out stadiums already, so he knows well how to play to massive crowds; plus he has some good crossover appeal between rock and country fans. So he’s another natural choice for a country Super Bowl performer. We’d bet he’s already in the running as a candidate for the halftime show in 2014.

3) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

This pair of (married) country artists are superstars in their own right, and together they provide even more performance power (witness their current double-whammy residency in Las Vegas). Sure, some of their best-known duets are love ballads, but for a Super Bowl they would prove plenty capable of pulling out some high-energy surprises.

4) Eric Church

He may not be quite as seasoned at stadium headlining as the above artists, but Eric is proving he can draw big crowds and win them over with his songs and stage presence. Plus he has growing crossover appeal, having played Metallica’s Orion Festival last year, not to mention winning many rock fans’ attention with his GRAMMY-nominated 2012 single “Springsteen.”

5) Willie Nelson

C’mon, everyone loves Willie, right? So we feel he’d be an awesome choice and bring a positive, crowd-pleasing vibe to the experience. Sure he can be a bit on the mellow side, but he comes loaded with incredible songs, not to mention the possibility of some cool special guests, from Snoop Dogg (er, Lion) to Neil Young. Maybe even a Ray Charles or Waylon Jennings hologram, you never know. A person can dream, right?

Which country artist would you like to see perform a Super Bowl halftime show?

– Kurt Wolff,


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