A string of mid-00s hit songs made Josh Gracin the most successful country 'American Idol' finalist, until Carrie Underwood trumped him and just about everyone else. The Marine and Michigander first scored with 'I Want to Live' in 2004, but his debut album would include three Top 5 singles.
One of his Gracin's top songs went Gold for 500K singles sold, and he remained active on country radio through two albums and four years. His career cooled by the time 'Redemption' was released in 2011, but fans still found plenty of satisfying songs there. It's been a few years since a new Gracin song has climbed the charts, but he left quite an impact at a time placing on 'American Idol' still meant something.
‘Favorite State of Mind’From 'We Weren't Crazy' (2008)
Gracin tapped fellow Michigander Marcel Chagnon to help write 'Favorite State of Mind,' the lead single from 'We Weren't Crazy.' Gracin's fourth radio single was his first to not go Top 10, and because of that, his album was put on hold for two years.
‘Stay With Me (Brass Bed)’From 'Josh Gracin' (2004)
This tender love song finds Gracin urging a lover to stay, and the video shows things heating up. 'Stay With Me,' the final single from Gracin's self-titled debut, is a fan-favorite. Statistically, the song didn't do as well as the others above it on this list of his best songs, but it's No. 1 in many country fans' hearts.
'I Want to Live'From 'Josh Gracin' (2004)
Powerhouse songwriters Brett James and Rivers Rutherford penned Gracin’s debut single, released several months after his time on ‘American Idol’ ended. He was the first country singer to land a record deal after the show, and his early success still lands him on a list of the Top 5 ‘Idol’ singers in country history. This was a Top 5 hit and a big boost for the Marine’s early career.
'We Weren’t Crazy’From 'We Weren't Crazy' (2008)
As Gracin’s career progressed, he started to write more and more of his own material. ‘We Weren’t Crazy’ was the only song from his pen that found major radio airplay. The hit and title track from his second album was a Top 10 single, one that sounds as good today as it did in 2007. He tells of two free hearts chasing their love for one another, and one gets the feeling the story is very personal.
‘Nothin’ to Lose’From 'Josh Gracin' (2004)
This song is Gracin's lone No. 1 hit. 'Nothin' to Lose' is another penned by Marcel. The late 2004 single still sounds as good on the radio today as it did months after his 'American Idol' trip ended. The track is a pure country cut, with just a twist of modern rock. It's quite a romp -- a fine counter to the first single from the 'Josh Gracin' album.