Collin Raye (Photo Credits: Amazon.com)
Also known as Bubba Wray, Floyd Elliot Wray came into prominence for his country pop ballad hits. More popularly known by his pseudonym, Collin Raye, he has already had 15 studio albums and four No. 1 singles.
Moreover, a prolific crooner, he is easily one of the best-recognized and most beloved country musicians of the 90s. His unusual gift for giving tender treatment to often sensitive and emotional subject matter also makes him one of the best, most believable balladeers of all time.
In honor of Raye’s impeccable musicality, talent, and great impact to the country music genre, here are 10 of his hits that have ruled the charts.
It was his very first No. 1, and it may well be his best song of all. The heartbreaking, yet faith-tinged tribute to a lost mate is an ode to both the all-encompassing power of love and the never-ending hope associated with the belief that all will be made right in the afterlife.
One Boy, One Girl
The sweet single from Raye’s 1995 album I Think About You album tells the tale of a young couple’s relationship from the moment they first locked eyes. It garnered approval from fans, rising to No. 2 on the country charts.
Few artists can tackle a subject as delicate as alcoholism and addiction with as much raw reverence and grace as Raye. From the album Extremes, the lyrics of 1994’s “Little Rock” see the singer playing the role of a man detailing his recovery process to a lost love, who he hopes will see his progress and take him back into her life.
In This Life
Delivered with a heartfelt tenderness and sense of sincerity that’s hard to match, the July 1992 release made an appearance on both the country and Adult Contemporary charts. Its soft, lilting sound and message of undying love and affection for a partner was appealing to a broad audience.
Although Raye is a master balladeer beyond all else, this 1991 release sees him foray into the world of pop music. Although still puppy dog and sunshine sweet like many of Raye’s offerings, it’s upbeat and peppy, too, so it represents a refreshing change of pace.
If I Were You
Released in April of 1995, the ballad, which topped out at No. 4 on the hot country charts, is a testament to the power of love amid an uncertain future. It’s about clinging to affection and allowing it to serve as a guide through life’s challenges. Anyone can relate to that message.
I Think About You
There’s nothing sweeter than a dad who loves his little girl, and this 1995 release puts that relationship into the limelight. Even better, the lyrics all but demand that all women be treated with respect, and that alone makes it worthy of celebration.
What if Jesus Came Back Like That
As one of Raye’s many social issue-inspired releases, this November 1996 single stresses the vital importance of treating everyone – no matter how weak or downtrodden by society at large – with love and respect. It also acts as a call to Christians to live out their prescribed mission to live out Christ-inspired, Christ-devoted lives; which is a message rarely heard on secular radio.
I Can Still Feel You
Released in 1998, “I Can Still Feel You” was Raye’s fourth and, to date, final No. 1 hit. Although he didn’t know the story behind the song when he opted to record it, the tune was written by his ex-girlfriend Kim Tribble about Raye. Awkward circumstances, but it turned out well for both parties because the tale of someone pining for an ex who still feels “as close as skin every now and then” is easy for most folks to understand.
Not that Different
Sweet and romantic, the November 1995 single from the album, I Think About You, is a tribute to the power of steadfast hope. It’s a satisfying story that tells the tale of a man whose unrequited love is, after much patience, finally fulfilled.
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