The Billboard country charts of 2010 read like a preview of the coming decade's hit-makers. Sure, established names Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, and Reba McEntire enjoyed great success back then, but for the most part, the hits of the time were a sign of things to come from the 21st century's earliest stars (Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Joe Nichols, Rascal Flatts, Josh Turner, Dierks Bentley) and freshest faces (Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Jerrod Niemann, Justin Moore, Chris Young). Throw in Taylor Swift, and you've even got a preview of pop music's bright future.
Read on to gauge how the best country songs of 2010 foresaw the next nine years of pop-friendly playlists and stadium-packing stars.
10. "Stuck Like Glue," Sugarland
At a lucrative time for such groups as The Band Perry and Little Big Town, Sugarland tested the limits of country radio's crossover tolerance with a reggae-inspired bridge and auto-tuned vocals for Jennifer Nettles.
9. "If I Die Young," The Band Perry
Before going full-on pop, siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry topped the charts with this mid-tempo tune accompanied by traditional bluegrass instrumentation. No one's going to confuse it for a Nickel Creek song, but it's still more indebted to country music's rich history than a lot of what makes the airwaves now.
8. "Roll With It," Easton Corbin
Before Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Kacey Musgraves and others got due credit for honoring country tradition through modern-sounding albums, Easton Corbin channeled his inner George Strait for this and other cuts off one of the decade's best debuts.
7. "Rain is a Good Thing," Luke Bryan
A decade of "bro-country" love songs chock-full of backwoods buzzwords began with Luke Bryan's first career No. 1. Jokes about Bryan, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and the other usual suspects aside, the video pays tribute to the farmers Bryan still supports with his annual Farm Tours.
6. "American Saturday Night," Brad Paisley
The computer graphics in the "American Saturday Night" music video look way out of date now, but Brad Paisley's light-hearted way of endorsing acceptance of people from other countries (or different regions of your own country) aged very gracefully.
Read More: The 10 Best Brad Paisley Songs
5. "Temporary Home," Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home," an analogy for her Christian belief in the afterlife, began a decade of hits and CMA Awards hosting gigs that made her one of the faces and voices of country music.
4. "Hillbilly Bone," Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins
3. "As She's Walking Away," The Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson
This musical conversation between two Georgia-born country music stars finds Alan Jackson handing down some worldly wisdom to Zac Brown's love-struck character. It's a standout track in both performers' catalogs.
2. "American Honey," Lady Antebellum
1. "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert
The song of the decade, much less the year 2010, solidified Miranda Lambert's status as a future legend while scoring writers Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin their own special place in country music history.
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