Chris Willman is Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic at Variety. He joined the publication in 2018 and is based in Los Angeles. Willman began his career at the Los Angeles Times, going on to spend 13 years at Entertainment Weekly as a senior writer and critic. He has been a regular contributor to Billboard, the Hollywood Reporter and TV Guide; his work has additionally appeared in Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Spin, Parade and other publications. He is the author of the 2005 book “Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music,” cited by Stephen King as one of the three best music books of all time. Since joining Variety, he has received four first-place honors from the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards and five from the SoCal Journalism Awards. The L.A. Press Club named him its Entertainment Journalist of the Year in 2020.