The death of traditional country music may have been overstated. These 18 country singers are proving there is still allegiance to a less pop-friendly brand of twang. They also prove fans often need to go looking for it.

Only a handful of these modern country music traditionalists have found success on country radio, but streaming sites and satellite radio have been kind to artists like Sturgill Simpson. His Grammy win and performance shows that despite a lack of airplay, great music can still win.

Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton are proving the same thing while singers like Jon Pardi and Miranda Lambert are managing to have it both ways. Commercial and critical success as a country traditionalist is tough for any singer, but it's not impossible.

A recent ToC editorial argues that the birth of modern country traditionalism stems from the success of more pop-friendly bands like Florida Georgia Line. It was, after all, only after fans became fed up with bro-country that Stapleton scored his big wins and others followed. Midland and Taste of Country RISERS Farewell Angelina are two new acts that have found more fans than maybe they would have a few years ago.

Still think "real" country music is dead? We'd argue that you're just not trying hard enough to find it. These 18 artists give hope for the future of country music, with or without help from radio stations nationwide.

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