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Country News

It’s hard to believe it’s been thirteen years since 2010. I was working in country music and remember it like it was yesterday. It was the year I took my then four-year-old son to his first concert: it was Taylor Swift, and he dressed in a red leather jacket. Before the show, I was invited to a party for Taylor to celebrate something (I don’t remember what it was), and I gestured to my son to have his picture made with Swift. He refused to approach her, and he learned that “if you snooze, you lose.” That son of mine now drives the family car.

2010 was a big year for Brad Paisley as he won his only Entertainer of the Year award from the CMA, a show he was hosting with Carrie Underwood. The CMA’s Album of the Year was Miranda Lambert’s Revolution, and the Song of the Year was Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.” Male and Female Vocalists for 2010 went to engaged (at the time) Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. Oh, how times have changed. Shelton recently celebrated his third wedding anniversary with Gwen Stefani. Lambert has been married for four years to former New York police officer Brendan McLoughlin.

Lady A was a fairly new act (they formed in 2006) in 2010, as was the Zac Brown Band, who won the CMA’s New Artist honor that year.

At the ACMs in 2010, Miranda’s “The House That Built Me” won Single and Song of the Year, while Eric Church won the New Solo Vocalist of the Year. Taylor Swift won the ACM’s top prize of Entertainer of the Year.

Then there were the songs in country music for the year 2010 when Taylor Swift was still a country star with her album Speak Now, and Kelly Clarkson was dabbling in country music with her duet with Jason Aldean, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”

As we look at what the year 2010 was like in country music, we count down what we believe are the ten best country songs to come out of the first year of the 2010s.

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  • 10 - "Mean" - Taylor Swift · 2010

    This is a classic now but says so much for what the future would hold for Taylor, who wrote this song responding to critics that wrote negative things about her and her music.

  • 9 - "If I Die Young" - The Band Perry · 2010

    This song was released on June 8, 2010, as the second single from The Band Perry’s self-titled debut album. The trio of siblings enjoyed huge success in the following years, and this song seemed to start it all for them.

  • 8 - "The Boys of Fall" - Kenny Chesney · 2010

    A great song about looking back. The lyrics are about playing high school football. Chesney says the song “perfectly describes how I grew up and where I grew up.” The music video debuted on August 2, 2010, on ESPN’s SportsCenter. It features many famous football players and coaches discussing their high school football experiences.

  • 7 - "Don't You Wanna Stay" - Kelly Clarkson/Jason Aldean · 2010

    This song was Jason’s first duet. He said of getting Kelly Clarkson to sing it with him, “I love her voice, and I love her style. Long story short, we got her a copy of the song, and she loved it.” They performed it together on several awards shows and on American Idol.

  • 6 - "Turn on the Radio" - Reba McEntire · 2010

    This catchy Reba tune made history as her 25th and (as of now) final number-one song on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, tying Dolly Parton for most number-one songs by a female country artist.

  • 5 - "Knee Deep" - Zac Brown Band · 2010

    This catchy number-one song is about laying back and having no worries. Some of the lyrics are: “Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair.” The song features Jimmy Buffett.

  • 4- "Long Hot Summer" - Keith Urban · 2010

    Keith wrote this summer anthem with 1980s pop star Richard Marx. It’s the perfect summer song. The video for the song shows Urban and his band playing in the sand in bare feet.

  • 3 - "Why Don't We Just Dance" - Josh Turner · 2010

    Turner said of this infectious number one country song when it came out, “It’s an up-tempo, traditional country song that has a very catchy melody with a lyric that poses the question ‘why don’t we just dance?’ and forget about all of the bad stuff going on the world and just concentrate on each other.”

  • 2- - "The House That Built Me" - Miranda Lambert - 2010

    This is a once-in-a-lifetime song, and it won all the awards it possibly could from the CMA and ACM in 2010. At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in February 2011, Miranda won the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

  • 1 - "Need You Now" - Lady A · 2010

    This is Lady A’s career-making song, and the single has been certified 11× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It’s also the trio’s only song to crack the Billboard Decade End chart, doing so at number 68. In 2011, the song won the all-genre Grammy for Song of the Year.

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