The Band Perry say they knew they had a hit when "If I Die Young" went to No. 1 ... in Malaysia. Song No. 18 on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century was a huge international hit that knocked down all barriers.

After writing "If I Die Young," Kimberly Perry and her brothers cut a demo in their home studio and started to play it for friends, parents and grandparents. “We just began to see that regardless of age, and regardless of the music you were into, the song connected,” she tells Taste of Country. Some fans would cry. Others would beam with the brightest smiles.

Perry wasn't in a sad place in life when she wrote the trio's first big hit song. It was born from a daydream. She asked, “If I could plan my own funeral, at the age that I am now, and be super romantic about it, what would it look like?" Vivid imagery made the poignant music video very effective. And while her mind was wandering when she wrote it, that's not to say there wasn't some personal meaning. Watch the video below to see how the death of a close family member affected their award-winning ballad.

About this list: Taste of Country’s Top Country Songs of the Century were decided by a panel of country music experts and fans using sales and chart data, a song’s social and musical impact and lyrical integrity. Select artists were also surveyed. You’ll hear from several throughout the list.

Watch the Band Perry Talk About What Inspired "If I Die Young"