The 10 best country albums of 2016 come from newcomers, major headliners and veterans proving that their music and artistry is as strong as ever. There are very few skip-ahead tracks on this list of great albums. These are the men and women who appreciate an album as a piece of art, not just a collection of songs.

In some cases, the singer is making a statement. Keith Urban's Ripcord pushes the country genre further than ever before without snipping the roots that ground him. Ronnie Dunn's Tattooed Heart bends traditional, but never sounds old. Dierks Bentley's Black takes the themes he established on Riser and expands with the help of a handful of special guests.

Newcomer Aubrie Sellers' honest collection of punk rock and bluegrass-influenced songs makes this 10 Best Country Albums of 2016 list. It's not a record you'll find in many Walmart stores, but it's a brilliant introduction to a singer who aims to be around for awhile.

Surely there's an album you think should be included in this list of the best country albums of the year. Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings was a late addition, arriving just before Thanksgiving and packed full of emotional, raw ballads and mid-tempo ramblers. Was there any doubt she'd end up among our Best Albums picks? She doesn't check in at No. 1, however. Find out who does in the gallery above.

Top 10 Country Songs of 2016

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