Best Songs of the 2000s
During the first decade of the 2000s, country music soared to new levels. Superstars like Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift broke through with their first hits, while established singers like George Strait and Alan Jackson were adding to the best songs of the 2000s. From the traditional sounds of ‘I Told You So’ and ‘Give It Away’ to inspirational crossovers like ‘My Wish’ and ‘I Hope You Dance,’ we count present our list of the Best Songs of the 2000s, a list which represents songs released from the years 2000-2009.
The 2005 winner of 'American Idol' is an obvious singer to include on our list of the Best Songs of the 2000s. After scoring major hits with ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’ and ‘Before He Cheats,’ Carrie Underwood re-recorded this Randy Travis penned classic from 1988 for her 2007 album ‘Carnival Ride.’ Powered by their appearance together on 'Idol, ‘I Told You So’ went on to win a Grammy for Country Collaboration of the Year.
In 2007, Kenny Chesney proved he could sing about more than just life in the Caribbean. The ‘No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem’ singer soared to the top of the charts in 2007 with this thought-provoking hit about slowing down and enjoying life before it passes you by. The song debuted at an impressive No. 16 on the Billboard all-genre singles chart, beating Keith Urban’s all-time record debut at No. 17 for ‘Once In a Lifetime Love’ in 2006. However, Chesney’s record was broken one week later when Garth Brooks debuted at No. 1 with ‘More Than a Memory.'
‘Give It Away' -- penned by Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson, Jamey Johnson and Buddy Cannon -- is one of the best songs of the 2000s. In 2006, it won both a CMA and ACM for Song of the Year. George Strait reached the pinnacle of his career in the 2000s by being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, being honored as the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade and holding the record for the most No. 1 hits by any artist in any format of music.
Thanks to its inclusion in the film 'How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days' with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, ‘Somebody Like You’ crossed over to the all-genre charts and became one of the most played songs of the 2000s. Four years into his solo career, Keith Urban hit the top of the country music charts for the second time with a song that stayed at there for six weeks, just after winning the CMA’s Horizon Award.
Rascal Flatts dominated country and pop radio through the 2000s. ‘These Days,’ ‘Bless the Broken Road’ and ‘Fast Cars and Freedom’ were all major hits for the trio. However, ‘My Wish’ seemed to rise above them all with its uplifting inspirational message that crossed over to the pop charts in 2006. The trio won a CMA every year from 2003-2008 for Vocal Group of the Year, making them an obvious choice for our Best Songs of the 2000s list.
From 1969-1970, Jimmy Buffett worked as the Nashville correspondent for Billboard. Shorty after his classics ‘Come Monday’ and ‘Margaritaville’ got airplay on country radio, he embarked on an amazing career, thanks to a loyal legion of followers known as Parrot Heads. In 2003, Alan Jackson joined forces with Jimmy Buffett to bring his music back up the charts. ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ was an eight-week No. 1 hit that inspired Buffett to record an all-country album the following year called ‘License to Chill.’
Tim McGraw placed his first song on the Billboard charts in 1992, and by the 2000s he was one of the genre’s biggest superstars. Songs like ‘My Next Thirty Years,’ ‘Watch the Wind Blow By’ and ‘She’s My Kinda Rain’ were all power hits, but 2004’s ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ brought McGraw’s career even higher. A CMA winner for Single and Song of the Year, the tune also enjoyed crossover airplay and earned a Grammy for Song and Male Vocal. The lyrics taught us all a lesson as the track became one of the best songs of the 2000s.
Rodney Atkins is the inspirational success story of the 2000s. Atkins placed his first song on the Billboard charts in 1997 and only earned one modest hit in 2003 with ‘Honsety (Write Me a List).’ Finally, about 10 years later, he broke through with a song about not giving up during life’s tough times and struggles. ‘If You’re Going Through Hell (Keep On Going)’ was the song that brought his career back to life. The positive, upbeat song was the first of four consecutive No. 1 hits for him from 2006-2008.
‘Love Story’ is not only one of the biggest country hits of the 2000s, but it’s also one of the best selling singles of al -time, certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Like she's done with of her songs that became hits, Taylor Swift wrote this 2008 single about a love interest. In the song, he's not well liked by her own family, and she compares her story to that of Romeo and Juliet (but with a happier ending).
Released in the spring of 2000, this song was a perfect selection for that year’s graduates with its message and well wishes. With not one wasted lyric in the song, ‘I Hope You Dance’ took on a life of its own as the title of an inspirational book, and it's as been used at weddings, funerals and many of life’s milestone events. The song, released as the ninth single of her career, earned a Grammy for Song of the Year and a CMA for Single of the Year. Lee Ann Womack was also crowned the 2001 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. All of these accomplishments easily place 'I Hope You Dance' at the top of our Best Songs of the 2000s list.