As we hit the midpoint of 2018, The Boot is looking back at some of the best new music and biggest headlines of the year so far. All this week (June 4-8), readers can reminisce about the stories that have made waves in the country music world throughout the first half of the year. To determine the five biggest stories of each month, The Boot's staff looked at website traffic; the featured stories received the most visitors throughout the month in which they broke.

The country music community started off 2018 by continuing to commemorate the memory of Troy Gentry, who sadly passed away in September of 2017, while also celebrating the return of several beloved country acts. Fans breathed a sigh of relief once we heard Carrie Underwood reveal more about her facial injury, and cheered on an icon stepping out with a new love interest.

Read on to learn more about the top country music stories of January 2018.