There’s a thread among the top 40 country songs for May 2021 – a celebration of songs that achieved much success in today’s country music.
Leading this month’s list is Gabby Barrett, who earned several more nominations in the recently concluded Billboard Music Awards than any female artist did. Her song “The Good Ones” achieved massive success in radio, streaming, and sales. Indeed, she’s one of the greatly popular crossover stars today.
You will also find new songs from other Billboard Music Awards nominees like Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, and Kane Brown. Check out below which among your favorite tracks made it to this month’s list.
1. “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett
Gabby Barret’s “The Good Ones” is absolutely having a good time as it dominated Billboard’s Country Airplay chart for three weeks – making the song among the chart’s most extended runs at No. 1 for a female country artist since Miranda Lambert did in 2010.
Barret, who recently became a first-time mom, revealed the inspiration behind the song, and it goes way back when she and her husband – fellow American Idol alum Cade Foehner – were still dating. The country singer said that every time people ask her how Foehner was doing, her first response has always been, “he’s a good one.” So, when she needed to write a song, she knew it should be about her husband – and all the good ones out there.
The song was also Barrett’s way of giving people hope that not all “relationships stink.”
2. “Forever After All” by Luke Combs
Even though it was not released as a single, the song instantly became a hit among fans. Thanks to early streams, “Forever After All” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 – making it the highest Hot 100 debut ever for a male country artist since 1999.
This country ballad is actually the first song Combs wrote after moving into their new home in Tennessee with his wife, Nicole Hocking. It’s the continuation of his earlier tracks “Beautiful Crazy” and “Better Together,” which were both about the love story between him and Nicole. The two tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at their beach home in southern Florida last August 1, 2020.
3. “Somebody Like That” by Tenille Arts
For the first time in the history of country music, a female-sang No. 1 hit was also penned and produced by another female. Written by Tenille Arts herself, along with Alex Kline and Allison Veltz Cruz, “Somebody Like That” made history as the first song from a solo female producer performed by a female artist.
This is Arts’ first charting single, and she first performed it live at the Grand Ole Opry in 2019. It was the third single from her sophomore album, Heartbreak & Everything in Between.
Arts said that while they were discussing to steer away from writing breakup songs, they’ve decided to make something that’s uptempo and entertaining yet has substance to it – “a really positive way of looking at love.”
4. “Glad You Exist” by Dan + Shay
Dan + Shay brings a warm and sincere show of gratitude with “Glad You Exist” – their latest song from an upcoming project.
Co-written by Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney with three more renowned songwriters, the song doubles as a romantic message to an important person whose love and affection has weathered countless bad decisions – at the same time, a love letter to their fans who have stuck around through a whole season of no live performances.
The duo said that the breezy tune is more than just a song to them; but instead, “it’s a message of gratitude and hope.” As heartfelt as it sounds, it’s a message to remind everyone of how grateful they are “to be on the planet at the same time.”
5. “Made for You” by Jake Owen
Jake Owen has earned another chart-topping Billboard Country Airplay hit with “Made For You.” The romantic ballad is actually the third No. 1 from his album Greetings From…Jake.
The song, which is deeply personal to the country singer, has a similarly lovely music video, with special appearances from his fiancée Erica Hartlein and daughters, Paris and Pearl. The short clip shows scenes of the beautiful family with their own home movies and photos intermixed with videos of fans and their love stories. “Made For You” also made a countrywide impression when Owen sang it on one episode of the reality TV show The Bachelorette.
6. “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” by Elle King and Miranda Lambert
The “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” is a song that sums up Elle King and Miranda Lambert’s wild friendship is another hit in the making. The two country stars first met backstage at one of King’s shows and quickly became friends. They previously collaborated on “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” and toured together in 2019.
Co-written by King, the exhilarating new duet was recorded in both Music City and New York before the pandemic. The duo sang the ultimate badass country track live for the first time when they kicked off the Academy of Country Music Awards show last April.
Of course, we’re similarly obsessed with its ’80s themed music video where Lambert and King put on some very big hair.
7. “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown
Chris Young and Kane Brown celebrate life’s day-to-day superheroes, such as teachers, pastors, firefighters, and police officers, who are popular in their little towns – in “Famous Friends.” This marks the country superstar’s first collaboration since Brown’s 2017song, “Setting the Night on Fire.” It will be included in Young’s upcoming project, Raised on Country.
The hit collaboration was co-written by Young together with Corey Crowder and Cary Barlowe while in the middle of a tour in Tampa, Florida. Young and Brown, at the outset, teased the song on social media, and as expected, they received an overwhelming response from fans – prompting Young to release the complete song as his latest radio single.
8. “What’s Your Country Song” Thomas Rhett
It’s been a big start of the year for country star Thomas Rhett, whose “What’s Your Country Song” turns out to be another No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. And what a better way to do it than giving a shout out to no less than sixteen country classics. This includes Alan Jackson’s 2002 hit “Drive (for Daddy Gene),” Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight,” among others.
Of course, Rhett did not miss the opportunity to add in a nod to his own father hit songwriter Rhett Akins, with his enduring 1995 hit “That Ain’t My Truck.”
9. “Hell of a View” by Eric Church
Just about a decade after earning his first No. 1 at country radio, Eric Church is once again at the top spot with another chart-topping hit, “Hell of a View.”
And it seems like Church will soon be celebrating his country hit and most recent album when he goes on board on his 2021 Gather Again Tour this fall. The country singer will be playing “in the round” and will make it available to as much fans as possible to fill the arenas.
10. “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” Little Big Town
While taking a pause after penning the heavy song “Problem Child,” Phillip Sweet remembered inviting his fellow members, “Is it too early to drink? We have wine, beer and whiskey.” And just like that, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” was completed within just a few minutes.
Written by the four members of Little Big Town, Sweet recalled how the lines were just flying out of nowhere, and the quartet just kept throwing out ideas and bouncing lyrically. The song is included on their ninth studio album, Nightfall.
- “Breaking Up Was Easy In the ‘90s” by Sam Hunt
- “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris
- “Country Again” by Thomas Rhett
- “Settling Down” by Miranda Lambert
- “Things a Man Oughta Know” by Lainey Wilson
- “How They Remember You” by Rascal Flatts
- “Almost Maybes” by Jordan Davis
- “Next Girl” by Carly Pearce
- “Blame It On You” by Jason Aldean
- “One Too Many” by Keith Urban and Pink
- “We Didn’t Have Much” by Justin Moore
- “Gone” by Dierks Bentley
- “Minimum Wage” by Blake Shelton
- “Nobody” by Dylan Scott
- “Half of My Hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney
- “Undivided” by Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard
- “Worship You” by Kane Brown
- “My Boy” by Elvie Shane
- “Freedom Was a Highway” by Jimmie Allen and Brad Paisley
- “Single Saturday Night” by Cole Swindell
- “Shallow” by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
- “You Time” by Scotty McCreery
- “Waves” by Luke Bryan
- “Not Yet” by Brett Young
- “Lady Like” by Ingrid Andress
- “Memory I Don’t Mess With” by Lee Brice
- “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” by Chase Rice and Florida Georgia Line
- “Fill Them Boots” by Chris Lane
- “Knowing You” by Kenny Chesney
- “Like a Lady” by Lady A
So, what do you think of this list of top 40 country songs for May 2021?
Top 40 Country