The country music genre began to emerge in the 1920s and become more popular a short time later. Country music has among the best-selling singles and albums in America today, often hitting the Billboard Hot 100 list. The Garth Brooks “Double Live” album has sold 21 million copies since it was released in 1998.
Like most of the major American music genres, country music has its legendary singers. Hank Williams released some songs that are pillars of country music. He died in the back of a car, at age 29, on January 1, 1953.
To determine the best country song of 2021, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Year-End Chart for the year. Billboard’s rankings are based on radio airplay audience impressions, sales data and streaming activity, as compiled by Nielsen Music. Data on each song’s number of lifetime Spotify streams was collected on January 18, 2022.
It was a big year for the controversial Morgan Wallen, who placed several songs on the list of those we considered. He also released a 30-track album titled “Dangerous: The Double Album” that became only the fourth country album to top the Billboard 200 for a year.
Luke Combs and Florida Georgia Line each landed three songs on the list we considered as solo performers and in collaboration with other artists. The latter continued country music’s genre-crossing success by pairing with rapper Nelly on the song “Lil Bit.” Country stalwarts Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton (five Grammy wins), meanwhile, each placed two songs on our finalist list.
Some artists skillfully used social media to promote their music. Walker Hayes’ tune “Fancy Like” went viral on TikTok and soared to the top on both Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts. It became a crossover hit when it reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
Lainey Wilson had a breakthrough year, with the number one single “Things A Man Oughta Know” from her debut album “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’.” Gabby Barrett has leveraged her appearance on “American Idol” in 2018 to build her career. Her debut album “Goldmine” in 2020 featured the catchy and ubiquitous hit “The Good Ones.” Performers like Niko Moon, himself a successful songwriter, released the hip-hop-influenced album “Good Time,” containing the hit single of the same name.
The best country music song of 2021 was “Forever After All.” Here are the details:
- Artist: Luke Combs
- Billboard Hot Country Songs peak position: No. 1
- Total weeks on Hot Country Songs chart: 52
- Lifetime Spotify plays: 210.6 million
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