Entertainment

John Rich Takes Swipe At Modern Country Music, Talks AI’s Potential Impact On Industry

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John Rich
Johnny Louis via Getty Images

Musician John Rich took a swipe at modern country music during a recent discussion about the impact artificial intelligence could have on songwriting in the industry.

The 49-year-old country singer said the technology could possibly produce a better product than what many in the genre have been creating, Fox News reported.

“Could AI do any worse than some of the country singers that are out there right now?” Rich asked. “I’m not sure that’s even possible.”

While Rich didn’t call out specific recording artists, he did say AI could never replace great songwriters.

“Listen, you can’t replicate the great songwriters,” the country star said. “You just can’t. I mean, you’re talking about Albert Einstein honky-tonk songwriters.”

“I’d like to see AI write ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,'” he added, referencing the famed song from the late George Jones. “It ain’t gonna happen.”

“Now, they might be able to take some redundant-sounding song and turn it into another redundant-sounding song, but that’s the state of country music as it is today anyways,” Rich continued. “I don’t see it as a huge threat. I think if you want to make sure that your songs stick out, why don’t you write ’em and sing ’em like nobody else can, including AI.”

The comments were similar to what country artists like Tracy Lawrence, Nate Smith, Riley Green, and Tyler Hubbard have said about AI.

“It’s a little scary that it’s kind of out there in the Wild West,” Lawrence said. “I’d like to see some more regulations on it. I’m afraid it’s going to get out of hand real quick.”

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“I hope that we put some buffers in place,” he added. “Songwriters should be able to write their songs from their mind. They don’t need AI helping them write songs. There’s a lot of things we can use it for that probably, we really shouldn’t, so we’ll see how it turns out.”

Smith said that the “world’s always going to change. Anything’s going to happen. Nothing’s worth freaking out over, I think is the main thing… Real country writers, I think, are going to be around forever.”

“I would struggle to think something that couldn’t feel could really write a song, to make somebody else feel,” Green added.

Hubbard joked that as long as AI “doesn’t learn how to write songs and perform on stage, I’ll be OK. But you never know.”

Related: ‘Wild West’: Country Artists Weigh In On Using AI To Write Music

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