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8 Banned Country Songs That Became Hits

It's difficult to please everyone. Even the greatest artists in Nashville are bound to offend someone at some point in their careers. Although the country artists got a slap on the wrist, these banned country songs still blew up and climbed the charts. 

You may be surprised at some of the hits that almost got the boot from the country radio airwaves.

8. Garth Brooks, "The Thunder Rolls"

It's really hard to believe, but it's true. In the music video for "The Thunder Rolls," the wife shoots the husband out of rage. The song was accused of being insensitive to domestic violence. Many people banned the song from playing. Clearly, the red tape didn't stick.

7. Loretta Lynn, "The Pill"

Radio stations banned this tune due to the reference the singer-songwriter made to birth control, which had only been approved for use for around 15 years when "The Pill" was released in 1975.

6. Rascal Flatts, "I Melt"

People liked the song. But when it aired on CMT showing bare buttocks, views changed. The video got pulled. The band refused to release an edited version. Still, this song became a number one hit. Obviously, people got over their objections.

5. Dixie Chicks, "Travelin' Soldier"

This song was doing amazing on the country charts until Natalie Maines, one of the three members, made a political statement condemning President George Bush. Bush supporters were pretty unhappy, and country stations pulled the song. The tear jerker is still known as one of the trio's most popular country hits.

4. Tim McGraw, "Red Rag Top"

This country star's song earned controversy for its subtle references to a possible abortion. The controversial song's content did not go over well with some stations, which led to some program directors taking the song out of rotation.

3. Reba McEntire, "Fancy"

Sure, struggling through tough times is a common theme in classic country music. But when a mother prostitutes her daughter to pay the bills? Well, let's just say many people weren't into that. At the time, it caused quite a lot of gossip, but the song is now considered one of Reba's most iconic releases.

2. Conway Twitty, "You've Never Been This Far Before"

Some even considered the title a bit suggestive. However, many agreed that a few lines in the song crossed some boundaries. Whether or not it was unanimous, unfortunately for the country singer, stations stopped playing it. Like many of the others on this list, the song is now one of Twitty's most well-known releases.

1. Martina McBride, "Independence Day"

This tune has definitely received high praise from music lovers and critics. Still, many had issues with the plot of an abused woman getting her revenge through murder. Nonetheless, through all the criticism, the track made it to the top 10, and is among Martina McBride's greatest hits.


Other country songs that raised eyebrows include Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee," Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow," Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist." Carrie Underwood's songs were also famously banned from a Canadian radio station after her hockey player husband was traded from there to the Nashville Predators.

This post was originally published on September 11, 2019. 

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