Country Music Hits of the 2000s

Country songs can inspire us, make us laugh or bring tears to our eyes – the 2000s saw many such classics reach the top of the charts and become favorites among country fans.

Carrie Underwood catapulted to superstardom with “Before He Cheats”. Its powerful storyline and catchy chorus captured audiences everywhere; not to mention, this hit also showcased her powerful vocals.

1. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood has established herself as one of the greatest country artists ever. Since joining American Idol, she has sold 85 million albums globally and holds 17 American Music Awards as the highest-certified female country artist ever. Additionally, Carrie is actively involved with several charitable initiatives, including Country Cares for St. Jude Kids where she visits hospitalized children while spreading awareness that even small changes can make a difference in children’s lives.

While other artists of the 2000s tended towards crossover, Underwood has maintained her traditional country roots and established herself as an icon of her genre. She continues to release new music and tour while inspiring young artists such as Season 10 American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. Underwood’s latest album Storyteller stands as her boldest yet traditional record. From “Dirty Laundry” to the southern gothic atmosphere of “Choctaw County Affair”, you haven’t heard Carrie quite like before!

“Carrie will surely remain a crowd pleaser at her concerts for years to come with “Before He Cheats.” A ballad that balances strength with fragility, sadness and relief, it has an ageless quality; one could easily imagine this song released in 1980 rather than 2009. With such an infectious melody about revenge against an unfaithful partner, this classic country tune deserves to be performed live at every show it appears on.

2. Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley is one of the greatest names in country music. Hailing from West Virginia, this singer began playing guitar at age 8 and performed his first gig as part of junior high. Soon thereafter, his talent was recognized by a radio station and Jamboree USA became his go-to program.

Paisley has since continued recording and performing, amassing seven albums under his name while collecting various accolades such as Male Vocalist of the Year from CMA and ACM awards. Additionally, many of his songs have become top charts hits both country and pop.

Some of his top country music hits of the 2000s included “Live Like You Were Dying,” which spent several weeks at number one on the charts, and “There Goes My Life,” an emotive ballad about fatherly love for daughter. Other hit tracks from that decade included Carrie Underwood’s revenge anthem “Before He Cheats” and Sugarland’s massive hit which tells its listeners to hold onto those they love no matter what.

This soft, slow Brad Paisley song is perfect for sharing special moments with someone special. It celebrates simple pleasures like appreciation for small things. Additionally, its humorous lyrics offer insight into drinking. Sing along to this fun tune!

3. Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley first emerged onto the country music scene in 2003 with his debut album’s infectious first single, “What Was I Thinkingin'”. Since then he has become a steady hitmaker (with 18 country airplay number one hits to date and 14 Grammy nominations), not afraid to follow his creative inclinations or experiment in his music production process.

Bentley’s music incorporates elements of blues, rock, and folk into one unique sound that ranges from raw and primal to thoughtful and intimate – earning him critical acclaim ever since he debuted on the country music scene in ’03. His open embrace of genres has earned him widespread acclaim since debuting onto it.

As a 21st-century troubadour with an affinity for classic country music, Bentley has left his mark since arriving on Music Row in 2003. Although his musical influences included Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings, Bentley gained much of his knowledge about country music from working as a researcher for Nashville Network as well as participating in late night bluegrass jam sessions on Music Row.

Collaboration between Bentley Osborne and Brothers Osborne, this song is an incredible powerhouse, beautifully combining expert musicianship with emotive lyricism. Bentley’s vocals soar as his brother Osborne provide expert picking; ultimately creating an evergreen track about living life to its fullest extent and inspiring all country music enthusiasts with its message of living life to its fullest. Harmonies are sublime; this tune must-hear for country fans everywhere!

4. Josh Turner

Throughout the 2000s, country artists started expanding their themes and perspectives. This included taking on subjects that had previously been considered too “controversial” by country radio – such as domestic violence (Dixie Chicks’ hit “Not Ready to Make Nice”) and abortion (Rascal Flatts’ song, “Before He Cheats”). Furthermore, songs like Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” became an anthem of post-9/11 patriotism.

As changes occurred, many new artists found success. Alison Krauss had long been making bluegrass music since the 1980s but she reached mainstream success when her album, New Favorite, won a Grammy and helped bring traditional country back into prominence. Other artists, including Asleep at the Wheel and George Strait incorporated New Country sounds that combined traditional country with elements of western swing and bluegrass into their sound.

Josh Turner made his mark in country music during this era, releasing a Christmas album of classic hits he imagined his grandparents listening to in Hannah, South Carolina. It quickly became beloved among both fans and radio listeners; and since then he has released multiple other works including a live recording at Ryman Auditorium as well as gospel compilation.

5. Pat Green

While traditionalists struggled during the Y2K era, George Strait still managed to sell millions of albums and fill stadiums. His 2000 song “Give It Away” offers a poignant tale about love and loss that resonates with anyone who has experienced heartache.

Strait’s country music remains timeless, yet his style has evolved over the years. Beginning in the early 2000s, his songs began focusing on more personal subjects such as relationships and everyday life; additionally incorporating pop and rock influences in order to reach wider audiences.

Growing up on a horse farm outside Waco, Green was never your traditional country boy. For an elementary school talent show he performed a break-dancing routine and liked listening to pop and rock acts such as Sheena Easton; but when he moved to Austin and discovered Texas country music he found his true calling.

He merges southwestern country tradition with rock and roll rebellion to craft organic, honest country. Beyond singing, Green also is a painter, sculptor, philanthropist and family man. His music draws its inspiration from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Sheryl Crow among many others; thus defying genre classification. During the 2000s Green became one of Texas country’s most prolific artists selling over two million records while boasting top ten hits like “Carry On”, “Three Days”, and “Wave on Wave”.

6. Lee Ann Womack

Womack first appeared on the country scene in 1997 and quickly earned listeners’ admiration with her unique take on traditional themes and sounds. Reclaiming her roots with her sixth album, she delivered real-life narratives on love, loss, cheating and drinking that could resonate with fans of real country music.

Womack collaborated with veteran songwriters Julie Miller and Buddy Miller for this ballad that unabashedly challenged an abusive husband during a marriage gone sour. Her classic vocals and timeless country instrumentation infused the song with powerful emotion, making it one of her biggest hits upon its release in 2000.

On this heartfelt ballad, Womack recalls her first romance and how it has shaped her character. She asserts that even as an adult woman she still loves like she did at sixteen and hasn’t lost that innocence. It quickly rose up the pop and country charts and eventually earned Womack a Grammy Award.

Womack made her mark on traditional country with her 2005 album There’s More Where That Came From by exploring its sounds found on Loretta Lynn and Barbara Mandrell records from the 1970s. On “Never Again, Again”, Womack demonstrated her ability to pull emotion out of more traditional material through its dreamy arrangement that showcased her signature vocals – reaching No. 2 on country charts.