The Explanation Behind Those Crop Circle Designs of Country Stars

If you follow Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean or Kelsea Ballerini on Instagram, you may have noticed each artist share a rather mysterious post in recent days.

All three stars shared a photo of their likeness depicted in a crop circle, with no caption and no explanation as to the reason for the farm-inspired art.

Bryan's design sees him looking into the distance, a guitar on his shoulder.

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(Photo: Instagram / @lukebryan)

Ballerini's shows the star ready to sing into a microphone, her long hair flowing around her.

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(Photo: Instagram / @kelseaballerini)

Aldean is also seen brandishing a guitar, though the 41-year-old is playing the instrument in his rendering.

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(Photo: Instagram / @jasonaldean)

As it turns out, the three designs are the brainchild of Spotify, created to celebrate Spotify Hot Country. A fourth design features the Spotify Hot Country logo.

Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the circles were created by Nashville-based crop circle artist Stan Herd, with each circle taking about one week to create. The designs are expected to last for around three weeks.

“I usually begin with a simple concept that speaks to something I believe in and a statement that I think is important to make with my art,” Herd shared in a press release. “When I get to the point that I decide to actually take the drawing to a field, I create a gridded drawing to the site and try to gauge how it might fit the field or terrain. I work with crews to lay out the grid, maybe one inch equaling 20 feet, and begin the simple outline with a weedeater or other tools into existing crops or vegetation. Then we begin to gauge the work through aerial recon or drone shots.”

Herd added that country music's connection to agriculture makes the project a natural fit.

“Country music grew out of the experience of working men and woman with a true connection to the land and to United States history as it relates to and informs that cultural essence,” he said. “It is called ‘Country Music’ because it is about a ‘country’ or rural lifestyle that includes that agrarian connection.”

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Spotify's Hot Country playlist was re-launched in April as an enhanced video playlist, and the streaming service has hosted several high-profile events since, including shows during CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June and the Hot Country Live concert series launch in New York City on July 4.

Photo Credit: Instagram / @lukebryan