Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Lonestar, “Amazed”



Written by Marv Green, Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo


#1 (8 weeks)

July 17 – September 4, 1999

Radio & Records

#1 (10 weeks)

July 2 – September 3, 1999

Lonestar unleashes the biggest country chart hit in decades.

The Road to No. 1

After closing out Crazy Nights with the third No. 1 hit of their career, Lonestar’s next album got off to a rocky start, with lead single “Saturday Night” peaking outside the top forty.  The next four singles from Lonely Grill would all go to No. 1.

The No. 1 

Inspired by the emerging love between songwriters Marv Green and Aimee Mayo, “Amazed” is as perfect a country pop power ballad as you’re ever going to hear.

For those who think country pop power ballads are an abomination by default, this record was a nightmare. It was so inescapable that it broke the record for weeks at No. 1 on the Radio & Records chart, and topped the Billboard country chart for eight weeks, the longest run in 33 years.  Thinking of changing over to top forty to get away from it? Good luck.  “Amazed” also became the first country hit to top the Hot 100 since “Islands in the Stream” 17 years earlier.

Thing is, the song was so inescapable because it simply works.  The production is dramatic without being bombastic.  Richie McDonald sings it with intensity that doesn’t spill over to melodrama. The steel guitar is the best use of a country instrument to deliver a pop hook this side of Shania Twain.

With this and the rest of Lonely Grill, Lonestar perfected their sound and paired it with strong material worthy of their talents.  It’s one of those instances where an artist’s commercial peak just happens to be their creative peak, too.

The Road From No. 1

We will see Lonestar quite a bit when we get to the 2000s, starting with their next four singles.

“Amazed” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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1 Comment

  1. I can be challenging to accept massive cross-over hits as adequate representatives of a genre that has countless other better examples of why it is special. That’s why era defining hits like “Achy Breaky Heart” and “Amazed” don’t feel strong enough to bear the enormity of the load they are unexpectedly burdened with. They cannot sustain the weight of analysis.

    People turned to country music because of hits like this?

    If only I had the power to decide which songs deserved that honour, eh?

    I feel confident, however, that a song with lyrics, “I don’t know how you do what you do/I’m so in love with you” really shouldn’t be in the perfect song conversation.

    Richie McDonald is one of the least authentic vocalists of the nineties. He is a poser in both image and in sound. There is a reason Lonestar, despite this level of fame and exposure, remained largely personality-less. Arguably the least cool and compelling collection of musicians from this decade. Ken Burns wasn’t knocking down the door to Lonestar’s studio to get their perspective on country music history, or even just Richie McDonald’s.

    I have always wished John Berry’s “Your Love Amazes Me” was the hit we think of when we hear the word amazed and not this lifeless drivel.

    This songs deserves an “F.”

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