Reba McEntire becomes a Kennedy Center Honoree. Kacey Musgraves tours arenas with Harry Styles. Kane Brown crosses over with an all-genre #1 album.
A lot can happen inside a single year in country music, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum captures, celebrates and elevates those key moments through its annual American Currents exhibition. From new artists to resurgent heroes, traditional bluegrass to rock-rooted radio hits, top stories and trends that span the landscape of country music show up in American Currents, with evocative artifacts and interactive exhibits that help visitors dig deeper.
Check out details on a few current American Currents artifacts below.
Reba McEntire’s Kennedy Center Honors dress
As much a style icon as a country music one, Reba McEntire never shows up to a celebration without a big look — and her ensemble for the Kennedy Center Honors gala in December of 2018 was no exception. In luminous House of Harper blue, McEntire joined her fellow 2018 honorees — composer Philip Glass, jazz hero Wayne Shorter, actress-singer Cher, and the creators of Broadway smash “Hamilton” — to don the Center’s famed rainbow ribbon. The annual honor was created to recognize artists who embody the pinnacle of their craft, and through the years, that’s meant masters from Aretha Franklin to Fred Astaire. McEntire isn’t alone among Kennedy Center Honorees as a country artist, but she is in fittingly impressive company: Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson are a few of the country stars who preceded her.
Manuel Cuevas’ fashions
A country music recipe that tends to be successful: three chords, the truth, and a look designed by Nashville fashion designer Manuel Cuevas. Now in his mid-80s, Manuel has decades of star-style successes to celebrate, across multiple genres: He suited Johnny Cash in black and Elvis Presley in gold lamé, and dressed Jack White in embroidered bones and Kesha in twinkling florals. And Manuel seems far from finished trailblazing. In 2018, he received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship — the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts — and some of the pieces that exemplify why he earned that honor appear in American Currents.
Florida Georgia Line’s CMA stagewear
Country music might have down-home roots, but plenty of country stars have a flair for high fashion. Florida Georgia Line members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard cut striking figures wearing white Versace and Armani when they performed “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha at the CMA Awards in 2018. But while they spoke luxury Italian on the suiting front, Hubbard brought things a little closer to home near the floor: Those are Calvin Klein boots.
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition American Currents, supported by Hilton, to see more.