Editors' Notes Country music exploded in the ’90s. Early in the decade, stars like Brooks & Dunn and Shania Twain had people line-dancing to their crisp, tight beats. By the end of it, they—alongside a new generation of stars—were selling out stadiums and topping the pop charts—feats almost unheard of even a decade earlier. Of course, the sound of country music grew alongside its audience. With female stars often in the lead, artists energized their records with the flashy guitar sounds and big production tricks of classic rock and metal without ever losing their signature twang.

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