Building up an audience for your music is hard. Convincing that audience to stick with you through a drastic style shift is even harder. Artists who want to try something new often find themselves starting over again.
This is especially true about the rash of rock and pop stars who have recently attempted a country crossover. Of course, there's Kid Rock and Taylor Swift. The most notable success story in country crossover history is Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker, who's previous band towed the line between pop and country by the end of their run anyway.
Sometimes, though, crossovers just don't pan out as intended. Whether it's an artist who just has no business making country music, or someone who made a decent record that fans simply didn't buy, there are a multitude of reasons why these risky moves don't work. Here are just some of the most questionable attempts at pop and rock gone country.
When 80s pop star Tiffany re-emerged in 2011 with a country album, the world hardly took notice. The singer insisted she was being true to herself by diving into country, and called it a natural step in part because of her Nashville residency.
"I know no different than to be myself at this point," she explained to Taste Of Country in an interview. "I think you have to go through life and grow up a little bit to be in that situation. So when I write songs, it's a lot about that. When I say 'just love,' it's truly 'just love me.' I know I'm not perfect. There's something so humble and simple about saying that and being open to that."
#75 on The Greatest '80s Teen Stars
Pop legend Cyndi Lauper took a turn into country music with 2016's Detour - which, to her credit, was a collection of country music classics re-imagined. The album was fairly successful with Lauper fans, though mainstream country didn't seem particularly welcoming.
"How are you going to know what you could do if you never try something new?" Lauper told Billboard of her decision to experiment with country. "You might fall on your butt, but if you don’t try, you don’t know, and you won’t grow."
#90 on The Best Singers of All Time
Ron Keel is best known as the vocalist for 80s Los Angeles metal band Keel, but he ventured into country and southern rock with his band IronHorse. Unfortunately, songs like "Redneck Rock N' Roll," "Let's Ride," and "Dancing With The Devil," didn't take off in Nashville.
That hasn't stopped Keel. He continues to release country albums including 2018's Metal Cowboy.
Brett Detar, the singer for emo band The Juliana Theory, dabbled in country music with two solo albums that were admittedly less mainstream-sounding than some other crossover efforts - but it didn't make nearly as much of an impact as his cherished band's classic album Emotion Is Dead.
Detar has explored film scoring in addition to his solo work, but most recently returned to The Juliana Theory with anniversary touring and a re-issue release.