Ricky Van Shelton songs have made many fans so thrilled throughout his two-decade career. Unfortunately, the country superstar called it a day in 2006. He decided to retire to spend more time with his family.
Today, let’s celebrate Ricky Van Shelton‘s fruitful career by looking back at some of his best songs.
1. “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”
Originally recorded by country music singer Wayne Kemp in 1980, “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” found success eight years later with Ricky Van Shelton.
Van Shelton made a brand-new song out of it, phrasing it and enunciating it differently. And it achieved the desired results, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart and becoming his first multi-week No. 1 hit.
2. “Somebody Lied”
Van Shelton had his first taste of No. 1 hit when he released “Somebody Lied” as the third single off his debut album. Conway Twitty originally recorded the song in 1985 for his album Don’t Call Him a Cowboy.
3. “Statue of a Fool”
Written by Jan Crutchfield, “Statue of a Fool” has been recorded by several country artists – including Van Shelton. When he began singing the song in his live concerts, he received a wildly enthusiastic crowd response to it.
So, the singer decided to cut the song and release it as a single. Van Shelton’s version landed on the second spot of Billboard US Hot Country Songs for two weeks.
“Backroads” is the fourth single and title track from his album of the same name. It was written by Canadian country music artist Charlie Major, who took home the Canadian Country Music Association Awards’ Song of the Year in 1993.
5. “Wild Man”
Van Shelton enjoyed one last Top 10 hit with “Wild Man,” which was released as the second single from his compilation album Greatest Hits Plus. The song peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs, where it remained for 20 weeks.
6. “Don’t We All Have the Right”
Van Shelton found himself mistaken after believing his lover would come back to him after she left him.
Written and originally recorded by Roger Miller in 1970, Van Shelton covered the song and brought it to the top spot of Billboard US Hot Country Songs – his third consecutive No. 1 hit.
7. “I Am a Simple Man”
Van Shelton’s “I Am a Simple Man” is another No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. It tells the tale of a man confronted by his lover after a long, tiring day at work. The woman is starting an argument by telling him that he’s difficult to figure out.
But the man no longer has the energy to fight. He only tells her it’s not complicated to understand him – after all, he’s just a simple man.
8. “Rockin’ Years”
Van Shelton rubbed shoulders with big stars, recording “Rockin’ Years” with the most honored female country performer of all time, Dolly Parton. It was released as the lead single to Van Shelton’s album Backroads as well as on Parton’s album Eagle When She Flies.
The song which tells the tale of a couple who promises to love each other until their “Rockin’ Years” snagged the No. 1 spot on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs.
9. “Crime of Passion”
Released as the second single off Van Shelton’s debut album, “Crime of Passion,” spent nineteen weeks on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs, where it peaked at No. 7.
The song comes with an interesting story of a drifter conspiring to rob a gas station with a young woman. But this was just actually a metaphor for a man falling hard in love with a woman with dark hidden motives.
10. “Life Turned Her That Way”
Written by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Harlan Howard, “Life Turned Her That Way” was first recorded by country singer Little Jimmy Dickens in 1965 and Mel Tillis in 1967.
Two decades later, Van Shelton released his version as the fourth single from his debut album. It became his second No. 1 hit on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs. It enjoyed the same success in Canada, charting No. 1 on The Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart – his first single to top on that chart.
Other Essential Ricky Van Shelton Songs
So there you have it, Ricky Van Shelton’s greatest hits! What’s your favorite on the list?
Ricky Van Shelton
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