Country music has been one of the most popular genres in the U.S. for decades now, but it’s so much more important than just sales and streams. Almost no other style of music is more closely identified with American culture as country, and that helps it maintain a certain level of respect in a nation that is incredibly diverse in both its population and its musical tastes.

While country artists might be some of the biggest sellers and the highest earners in the business, the genre has taken a hit when it comes to the charts in the past few years. The singles rankings have been dominated with what seems like every type of music other than country as of late. Pop, EDM, alternative, and especially hip-hop have all performed extremely well, while that familiar twang hasn’t been heard in a while on mainstream radio.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: Co-host Luke Bryan speaks onstage during the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)