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Songs of the Century

Songs of the Century

Top Songs of the Century
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Top Country Songs of the Century

Most of the 21st century’s best country songs were released by superstars you still find on the radio today.

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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No. 1: Miranda Lambert, ‘The House That Built Me’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

Writer Shane McAnally answered the question before it was even finished being asked. For him — and many others asked to name the Top Country Song of the Century — Miranda Lambert’s "The House That Built Me" is it.

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Alan Jackson Where Were You
Alex Wong, Getty Images
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No. 2: Alan Jackson, ’Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) – Top Country Songs of the Century

In times of tragedy, country music heals. Songs from some of the genre's best artists are used as therapy during great personal and national strife. No song has unified quite like Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)."

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Jamey Johnson In Color
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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No. 3: Jamey Johnson, ‘In Color’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

Jamey Johnson's "In Color" would be higher on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century if it was based purely on artist and songwriter opinion. It's the most frequently named song, or at least one of two (the other is still to come).

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Tim McGraw Live Like You Were Doing
Curb Records Nashville
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No. 4: Tim McGraw, ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

“It’s just the greatest message ever put on the radio in my opinion, and to the world frankly,” one country artist said of Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." The singer is a bit more humble about song No. 4 on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century, but he recognizes the importance of the song.

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Lee Ann Womack I Hope You Dance
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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No. 5: Lee Ann Womack, ‘I Hope You Dance’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

All five remaining songs on this list of the Top Songs of the Century required little or no conversation. Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" is an inspiring sonic masterpiece that blanketed country radio for five years before pulling back ever so slightly.

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Little Big Town Girl Crush
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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No. 6: Little Big Town, ‘Girl Crush’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" is a song that inspired other artists. Song No. 6 on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century reminded anyone feeling held down in a very cautious genre that it's alright to be different.

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Carrie Underwood Before He Cheats
Peter Kramer, Getty Images
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No. 7: Carrie Underwood, ‘Before He Cheats’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

This multi-platinum hit from Carrie Underwood showed a side of the singer that even the most creative fan couldn't have imagined was there.

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Gretchen Wilson Redneck Woman Song of the Century
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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No. 8: Gretchen Wilson, ‘Redneck Woman’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

Gretchen Wilson admits that while her hit song "Redneck Woman" was skyrocketing up the airplay charts she didn't feel like she fit in. Years later she'd tell Taste of Country that at the time, she felt underdressed for a black tie party. It's now clear the guests at that party were happy she injected new energy into their predictable sound.

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FGL Cruise Song of the Century
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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No. 9: Florida Georgia Line, ‘Cruise’ – Top Country Songs of the Century

Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" is the best-selling country song of the century and a song that blew the doors open for a progressive, hip-hop-flavored brand of country that longtime fans of the genre are still trying to determine what to do with.

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