We made it through the most difficult year in American history. I don't know about you, but music helped me though it. There were so many great songs and with everyone isolated, even more to come in 2021. Here are my favorite 10 country songs of 2020.
Let's start with a song that reminded us to be a good person, especially in times of darkness. Thomas Rhett, joined by a bunch of his superstar friends performing "Be A Light" at #10.
While that song helps center us during these crazy times, Eric Church delivered a powerful single aimed to challenge the country music community to dig a littler deeper in their lyric with "Stick That in Your Country Song." HIs performance at the CMA Awards, where he finally won Entertainer of the Year, was one of the highlights of the night.
Morgan Wallen had a big year, including a bit of infamy from his abrupt removal as SNL musical guest, after a careless kiss-fest in Alabama that went viral all over TikTok. He did finally cash in that raincheck in December, where he performed a pair of songs from his upcoming double album "Dangerous," including the song I put at #8 on my list of 2020 hits: "7 Summers."
Having grown up on 90's Alternative and Country music, I always that the love story between Blake & Gwen seemed odd. I can't be alone there, right? Well, 2020 is the year I finally got their connection. Perhaps it was their country duets that solidified if for me, including the song I put at #7: "Nobody But You"
The next song is the title track and first single from my FAVORITE album of the year. Chris Stapleton's "Starting Over" is a masterpiece album that everyone should experience front to back. He sets the tone with a simple arrangement around a lyrical reset with the one he loves in "Starting Over" at #6:
We've reached the halfway point, take a quick stretch and let's move on to a collaboration between country hitmakers Parmalee and viral sensation Blanco Brown. While Blanco continues to recover from a near-fatal motorcycle accident, his collaboration is quickly climbing to the top of the country radio charts. It's a catchy love song called "Just The Way" at number 5 on my list of 2020's top 10.
Luke Combs has an incredible year, as he solidified himself as country music's biggest superstar. While the whole top 10 could have been Luke songs, I picked a song that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. It's chock full of similes and metaphors describing love will give you chicken skin...er, goosebumps. At #4 is his current single, and soon to be 10th straight #1 song, "Better Together."
As you can tell by my list, especially my top 3, I enjoy artists that push the boundaries and broaden the appeal of country music. In fact, if you take the beats off of these next 3 songs, there would be no debate as to whether or not they should be called "country." When Sam Hunt performed a bluegrass version of this #1 song on the Bobby Bones Show, I think a lot of people were surprised at how "country" this song really is.
The sample in this song is a Webb Pierce song from 1953 called "There Stands the Glass."
And you gotta love a good lyrical play. Instead the girl playing hard to get, the subject of the #3 song is playing "Hard To Forget."
My runner up for the year is a song that I first heard in the summer of 2019, though it didn't really climb the charts until mid-2020.
Niko Moon may be a new name to you, but you'd be surprised to know that he's written a ton of songs for other country stars, including big hits like "Homegrown" for Zac Brown Band. Now he has his first hit as a solo artist.
I may be particularly biased to songs that reference old Alabama hits, in this case one of my favorites "Dixieland Delight." Again, take a way the trap beat, and there is no debate about this being a country song. My #2 song of 2020 is Niko Moon's "Good Time."
Well you've made it to the top of my list of the top songs of 2020. The song I chose at #1 didn't get a lot of country radio airplay, but it did help introduce a larger, world-wide audience to Morgan Wallen.
If it weren't for Chris Stapleton, this album would've been my top collection of the year. It's called "Snake Oil" from EDM producer Diplo, under his real name Thomas Wesley and featured collaborations from all sorts of country stars, including Thomas Rhett and Zac Brown. Bonus credit, check out the track "Heartbreak" featuring Ben Burgess. Brilliant!
But my favorite song of 2020 was the unlikely pairing of Diplo and Morgan Wallen about a tough breakup that was my unescapable earworm of the year. My #1 favorite song of 2020 is "Heartless."
That's a pretty solid list, but of course I would say that...it's my list. But I want to hear from YOU. What was YOUR favorite song of 2020? Drop me a tweet (MoJoeRoberts) or email me your top pick of the year: MoJoeRoberts@iheartmedia.com.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read and relieve my favorites from 2020. Here's to an even better year ahead of us.
And concerts, let's have some of those again soon. Please!