From the crossing over of numerous country artists onto the pop charts to the release of Ken Burns’ long-awaited “Country Music” film, it felt like the genre was having a moment in 2019. No longer relegated to its specific subculture, country music is now a large part of mainstream music.
This rise in popularity is due in part to the exceptional amount of great country music being released. Hundreds of popular songs have been released in 2019, spanning from pop country to more traditional sounds.
24/7 Tempo has identified the best country songs of the year based on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart performance. These are the best of the year based on radio airplay, sales data, and streaming.
Country music purists may still gripe about the amount of pop country coming out of Nashville. Musicians such as Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kane Brown continue to blur the lines of pop and country — acquiring millions of fans in the process. Some such performers rank among the most beloved country musicians there are. Here are America’s most popular country music stars.
Collaborations with non-country artists are also popular, as illustrated by the success of songs by pop singer Bebe Rexha and electronic music DJ Marshmello that climbed the country music charts. Yet even these strange partnerships fail to match the most bizarre musical collaborations ever.
This brand of pop country far from dominates the industry, however. Artists such as Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs that appeal to fans of more time-honored forms of country have had great success recently. Musicians that have dabbled with contemporary country scored major hits in 2019 with more traditional sounding songs, such as Blake Shelton with his No. 1 single “God’s Country.”
24/7 Tempo identified the best country songs of the year based on the top ranking tracks on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Year-End Chart. This chart ranks the year’s most popular songs based on radio airplay and sales data as measured by Nielsen Music, as well as online streaming activity. Total Spotify plays refers to the total number of times each song has been streamed on music service Spotify as of Dec. 8, 2019.