If you're anything like me, your music genre can go from classical to pop, to country, to rock in a span of seconds. My Spotify playlist is currently everywhere, and I have no shame about it, I love music. I love everything to do with it, which is why I'm here to save the day. It's no secret that country artists have slowly been diving into pop for the last few years, and I have no complaints about it.
In case you're wondering what exactly country-pop is, according to defenitions.net, it is "a subgenre of country music, blending the sounds of the Nashville sound and popular music; produced and marketed to reach a wide audience."
So, if you're not really a country fan, no worries, I am here to convince you why you should be a country fan. Or at least give it a try! The great thing about genres is that in the end, they have the ability to change every day and expand the way they are perceived. Think of it as a blend of sounds that come together to create the perfect song. And yes believe it or not, not every country song is about beer and tractors driving around the dirt road. Some country songs can be catchy love songs that we can dance to. So here are 20 of my personal favorite country-pop songs that I think every pop lover will enjoy. Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, they aren't in any specific order.
'Hard To Forget' - Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt is easily one of my favorite country singers of all time. I'll confess, I started to get more into country after listening to Hunt because I realized that not every country song has to have the same beat. There's something about Hunt's voice that instantly makes me love all of his work. Hard to Forget Was his first single from his second album South Side. He wrote the song with Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Luke Laird, and Ashley Gorley. The song was a hit for Hunt, and went platinum in Canada and gold in the United States. It also got to number 3 in the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard.)
'Hard to Love' - Lee Brice
Lee Brice's Hard to Love is definitely a staple in the country world. Written by Brice, Billy Montana, Ben Glover, and Kohn Ozier, it was released on May 14, 2020, as a second single from his album Hard 2 Love. It actually gave Bryce his second number one country hit on the US Billboard country AirPlay chart and peaked at numbers 4 and 27 on the Hot Country Song and Hot 100 Chart. It was later on certified platinum by both the Recording Industry Association of America and Music Canada.
'High Horse' - Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves is one of my favorite country songwriters of all time. Her voice is so smooth that you just want to dive right into it. "High Horse' is definitely one of her best songs and was part of her fourth studio album Golden Hour, released in 2018. She co-wrote the song with Tom Schleiter and Trent Dabbs.
The song reached 36 on the US Billboard Top Country Songs and quickly became her first song to cross over to pop radio peaking at number 36 on the Adult Pop Songs Airplay chart. For Golden Hour, Musgraves Won a CMA award for Album of the Year, a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Best Country Album, Best Country Song for "Space Cowboy," and Best Country Solo Performance for "Butterflies." The country singer also received a CMA Award for Best Video of the Year for "Rainbow."
'Man! I Feel Like a Woman' - Shania Twain
Obviously, this song deserves to be here, because well, it's Shania. This is a definition of country-pop in itself. If there was one song out of this list that perfectly describes what country-pop is, it's this song. The song was released on Twain's third studio album Come On Over in 1997.
The female empowerment song received favorable reviews from several music critics who praised the hook and Twain's vocals. The song reached top 10 in six countries and went to number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It reached the top five on the Hot Country Songs chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA for 1,000,000 digital downloads. Let's not forget it also won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, because it deserves it. This song will forever be iconic, especially for its catchy intro. I mean, who could ever forget Twain's signature lyrics..."let's go girls!"
'One Thing Right' - Marshmello Ft. Kane Brown
"One Thing Right" by Kane Brown and Marshmallow is definitely a summer bop. It was released back in 2019 and is described as a country song fused with EDM and pop-punk elements. The song peaked at number one on Billboard. As of March 2020, it has sold 273, 000 copies in the United States. In September 2028 it was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for the stream equivalent units of over two million units in the United States.
'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye' - Luke Bryan
Of course, we couldn't forget about one of country-pop's OG's. Luke Bryan's Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye screams country-pop...especially with those drums and guitar solos. It was released in August 2012 as the fourth single of his album Tailgates & Tanlines. It was written by Brian, Shane McAnally and Jeff Stevens. It did have some mixed reviews by critics, but it debuted at a number 55 on the US Billboard Hot country songs and at number 95 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
'Aw Naw' - Chris Young
Coming in hot we have our deep-voiced Chris Young with "Aw Naw." Released in 2013, it was his first single for his fourth studio album A.M...The song was written by Young himself, Ashley Gorley and Christ DeStefano. The song received several positive reviews from critics and peaked at numbers 3 and 4 on both US Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs. It also charted at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is now certified platinum. What can I say, it's just a fun song to spin around to.
'Before He Cheats' - Carrie Underwood
We couldn't forget about Carrie Underwood? Let's face it, her career skyrocketed with one of the most iconic country-pop songs ever. "Before He Cheats" was an enormous crossover success. It was on the Billboard Hot country songs for 5 consecutive weeks, reaching the top 5 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart and became a top 10 on the Adult Contemporary Chart and Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
On the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 8 and had the longevity of 64 consecutive weeks on the chart, which makes it the sixth-longest charting single in the history of the Hot 100. It became the first-ever country song to sell over two million copies digitally and was once the best-selling country song of all time. It has been certified 6 times Platinum by the RIAA. At the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, Underwood won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. It was also nominated for the Grammy Award for the Song of The Year and was named the Single of The Year in 2007 by the Country Music Association awards.
'Everybody's Got Somebody' - Hunter Hayes
This song is by far the sweetest of them all on the list. Hunter Hayes will always be that adorable kid with powerful lyrics to me. The song was released in 2011 for his debut album Hunter Hayes but was released again in 2013 featuring Jason Mraz. It's a fun song to listen to while you're out drinking some beers with friends and enjoying the day.
'Tequila' - Dan + Shay
Of course, I couldn't leave out this dynamic duo. Although this song is a little slow, I consider it pop because the beat is so catchy. The song came out for their self-titled third studio album and was released by Warner Bros Nashville in January 2018. The song was a major success after winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards as well as Song of the Year and Single of The Year at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards.
It reached number one on both the Hot Country Songs chart and the Billboard Country Airplay. It also peaked at number 21 on the Hot 100. The song has been certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and Music Canada. Fun fact: did you know Dan Smyers wife is actually featured in the song and sings backing vocals during the pre-chorus? That's pretty cool.
'Waves (Remix)' - Miguel Ft. Kacey Musgraves
"Waves" definitely belongs on this list 100% because well...just listen to these beautiful harmonies and beats! You have that R&B soul thanks to Miguel, then Musgraves' sweet country-pop vocals come crashing in. This one is actually a remix and was first released on Miguel's 2015 album Wildheart. The song had a complete makeover by Musgraves, who gave it some of that Nashville twang. Speaking with Elle about the makeover she stated, "It was a challenge. It was different figuring out, 'How am I going to make this song for me?' I didn't want it to sound like I'm just covering a Miguel song. I wanted it to sound like me."
'Say Something' - Justin Timberlake Ft. Chris Stapleton
Alright, so "Say Something" is technically Justin Timberlake's song...but it does feature the amazing and angelic vocals of Chris Stapleton. Which is genius in itself because he brings that country feel to it! Also, the video for this song is mind-blowing, it's definitely worth a watch.
The song was released on January 25, 2018, as the third single from Timberlake's fifth studio album Man on The Woods. It was written by Timberlake, Stapleton, Larrance Dopson, Timbaland and Floyd Nathaniel Hills. The song debuted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 and received a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.
'The Middle' - Zedd Ft. Maren Morris, Grey
I'm sure we all expected this song to be on this list. It's iconic and everyone who didn't already know Maren Morris definitely knew her name (and voice) after this song came out. The song was released in January 2018 by Interscope Records and reached the top 10 of the chart in the United States, the United Kingdom and several other countries. It was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.
Fun fact, this song went through several artists before the final recording. It was originally recorded by Camila Cabello, Anne Marie, Bebe Rexha, Elle King, Tove Lo and more before it ultimately went to Morris. And well...we aren't complaining about that!
'Dance With Me' - Diplo ft. Thomas Rhett and Young Thug
Once again, we have another EDM and country-pop song on the list. "Dance With Me" features DJ Diplo, Thomas Rhett and Young Thug. Rhett's vocals fit perfectly with the fun beat of the song. It was released in 2020 on Diplo's album, Chapter 1: Snake Oil, under his moniker Thomas Wesley.
'Cruise' - Florida Georgia Line Ft. Nelly
The other dynamic duo also made the list, along with classic rapper Nelly. Florida Georgia Line took advantage of the success from their song "Cruise," which was initially released in April 2012. It became the best-selling country digital song of all time in the US as of January 2014.
The recording of Florida Georgia Line's song reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 before another version of the song remixed by rapper Nelly was released. That's when the song re-entered the top 10 Reaching number 4 on the Hot 100 Chart and it's 34th week. It became the longest-running number 1 single after being 24 weeks at number one on Hot Country Songs. Believe it or not, both of the versions have sold over 7 million copies in the United States to date.
'Singles You Up' - Jordan Davis
Another one of my favorite songs on the list is Jordan Davis' "Singles You Up." It's a classic country-pop hit that will put you in a good mood and make you want to dance. The song was co-written by Davis, Steven Dale Jones and Justin Ebach. The song was released in June 2017 and is his debut single for his album Home State. The song reached number one on Country Airplay and number one on Top Country Songs. It is certified platinum in the United States by the RIAA.
'I Hope' - Gabby Barrett
We couldn't leave out the rising star, Gabby Barrett, or her iconic song "I Hope." The song was released following her third-place finish on America's Idol season 16. The song helped to land her a deal with Warner Music Nashville and was officially released in 2019 as her debut single from her first studio album Goldmine. The song was an instant success and received a nomination at the 54th annual Country Music Association Awards.
To take steps further, they decided to release a remix featuring pop singer Charlie Puth in April 2020. The song is certified five times platinum in the US and Canada and is a crossover hit after topping Adult Pop Songs, all format Radio Songs charts, the Billboard Country Airplay and became the best-selling country song of 2020 in the United States.
'Meant to Be' - Bebe Rexha Ft. Florida Georgia Line
I have to give it to Bebe Rexha on this one for choosing the right country artists to record a duet with. This song is so catchy. It was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st annual Grammy Awards. To say the song was a hit is an understatement. This song was everywhere on the radio after it was released, which was unexpected since Rexha is a pop singer.
It became her third top-10 hit and her first as a solo lead artist as well as a second top 10 hit for the country singers. It debuted at the top of the US Hot Country Song chart. In August 2018 the song broke the record for most weeks at number one on the US Hot Country Song chart, which was previously held by Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road." In 2020 it was certified Diamond for selling over 10 million units in the United States.
'The Bones' - Maren Morris
Once again we have Maren Morris breaking the norms and blending country with pop. "The Bones" was released on Morris' second album, Girl. The song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart last year and was the second biggest country song of 2020 in the US. It is now certified triple platinum in the United States.
It was nominated at the 63rd Grammy Awards for Best Country Song, which was Morris' 12th nomination. The single won two Country Music Association awards and one Academy of Country Music Award.
'Old Town Road' - Little Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
Last but not least, one of the most well-known country-pop songs that actually made the world reevaluate what country is -- none other than Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road." It was first released in December 2018, but after gaining popularity it was re-released by Columbia Records in March 2019, featuring country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Although the song can be seen as pop, it is technically described as country rap. Both versions of the song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 consecutive weeks.
It was awarded diamond certification by the RIAA in October 2019 for selling 10 million total units in the US. This became the fastest song to be awarded diamond. At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, the remix featuring Cyrus was nominated for Record of the Year and won Best Pop Duo/Group Performances and Best Music Video. In January 2021 it set a record as the highest certified song by the RIAA with 14 times Platinum Status in the US, meaning that it accumulated 14 million in equivalent song units. The song has sold over 18 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
So there you have it. These are some of my favorite country-pop songs I had to share with you. Of course, let's not forget some of our other artists with pop-country songs such as Little Big Town, Kelly Clarkson, The Chicks, Chase Rice and Walker Hayes. But hey...the list is endless!
What's your favorite country-pop song?
Editors Note: This article was originally published on August 4, 2021.
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