Top 10 selling country songs of all time

Johnny Cash

A look at the 10 top-selling country songs of all time!

10. “Fancy,” Reba McEntire

The song conveys the story of Fancy Rae Baker and how she went from rags to riches. The song is also not an “original” Reba hit. The Original was recorded in 1969 and is by Bobbie Gentry, but only ever made it to 26 on the country charts.

9. “Take Me Home Country Roads,” John Denver

John Denver wrote the hit back in 1971 and it quickly rose to the top of the Billboard charts. Denver wrote this song with his friends Bill and Taffy Danoff who originally wanted Johnny Cash to record it. The song was Denver’s first of 13 top 40 hits in the 1970s.

8. “I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack

The song was co-written by Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers and is a popular wedding song. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and also the Country Music Award for Song Of The Year. It was a #1 Country hit and also #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.

7. “Jolene,” Dolly Parton

“Jolene” dates back to 1973 and was the second time that her music topped the charts. Parton has said Jolene is a combination of a bank teller and a fan that she once met at a show. The song has been covered by the likes of The White Stripes, Reba McEntire, Olivia Newton-John, and many more. Jolene was Parton’s second song added to the Grammy Hall of Fame after “I Will Always Love You” was added in 2007.

6. “Live Like You Were Dying,” Tim McGraw

“Live Like You Were Dying” was the longest-running country #1 of 2004 and was also named the #1 country song of the year by Billboard. When the demo of the song, written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, was played for him it hit close to home as his father was dying from cancer at the time.

5. “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” Alan Jackson

The song was written after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Jackson wrote the song on his own, with the idea coming to him at 4 a.m. He told The Boot the lyrics really “came out of nowhere.” “It was just a gift,” he said. “I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it, and the next day I started piecing all those verses together, thoughts I had or visuals I had.”

4. “Concrete Angel,” Martina McBride

This song is about a little girl who is abused by her mother. The music video shows a little girl befriends a young boy who lives next door. One night the boy looks into their window and sees the girl’s mom beating her. In the video the girl passes away and goes “to a place where she is loved.”

3. “Choices,” George Jones

This song is essentially a biography of George Jones’s life, who overcame drug and alcohol addiction. The year the song was released the CMA Awards wanted him to play it live, but only about 30 seconds of the song. Jones backed out because he couldn’t play it in its entirety.

2. “Friends in Low Places,” Garth Brooks

This hit is about a cowboy who turns up at the engagement party of an old flame and is a crowd-pleaser. After the second verse he invites the audience - the friends in low places - to sing the mysterious third verse - which is only ever performed live, and which contains - by 21st Century standards - an extremely mild expletive.

1. “I Walk the Line,” Johnny Cash

The song is about the values Johnny Cash believes in, it is a promise to remain faithful to his wife while on the road. The song was recorded in April of 1956 and was Cash’s first #1 hit. It was sped up at the urging of Sun Studios. Carl Perkins suggested the title to Cash while they were on tour together.

*List compiled by MoneyInc

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