A new year brings new country albums from the most dependable hitmakers and rising stars. These are the most anticipated country albums slated for 2020, with parentheses added as necessary should the project not have an official release date or title.

That's the case for artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay and Tim McGraw, especially McGraw. We're reading the tea leaves to a certain extent, understanding patterns and outside forces that influence when and how new music gets released in 2020. A few artists (we see you working, the Cadillac Three) are more likely to drop an album without radio support than others (Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch). Artists like Scotty McCreery and Morgan Wallen are preparing new music (and presumably so are superstars like Carrie Underwood) and while the potential is borderline titillating, we can't speak with any confidence about a 2020 release from either.

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Alas, several fan-favorites don't make this list for similar reasons, but there's plenty to be excited about, including Sam Hunt's long-awaited follow-up to Montevallo, Ingrid Andress' debut and the return of the Dixie Chicks. Scroll down to see our staff picks for the 10 most anticipated albums of 2020, and let us know where we got it right or wrong on Twitter. We're happy to be a part of the conversation — use the #CountryMusic2020 hashtag.

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