After the 2017 ACM Awards on April 2, there will be 51 Song of the Year winners, as that award didn't exist during the inaugural show in 1966. Which song is the best Song of the Year winner? Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson all have spots inside the Top 10 on this ranking. No. 1 may surprise you!

This list was created using a point system that gave points for other honors and accolades. If the song also earned CMA or Grammy love, it got a point. If it topped the country charts, it earned another. If it had crossover success, it scored three additional points.

Finally, points were given for two somewhat subjective categories: relevance today and prestige. A song is defined as relevant today if it can still be heard on modern country radio, or if a reasonably savvy fan of country music would be able to identify both song and singer should it play elsewhere. Obviously new songs have an advantage here, so the scoring was weighted. Songs from the 1960s were given more points in this category than songs from the 1970s, and songs from the '70s more than hits from the '80s.

A prestigious song is defined as one that would make any Top Country Songs Ever list. These are all-time great songs. For example, George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" scored three prestige points. Billy Dean's "Somewhere in My Broken Heart" did not. Twenty four of the 48 songs earned prestige points.

Flip through our Every ACM Song of the Year, Ranked! list and offer your opinions in the comments section below.

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