Country Universe

The Year in Review


Best of 2022:

The Preamble: Lunatic Country Music Person(s) in the Wild

The Ten Best Albums of 2022 | The Twenty Best Singles of 2022


2022 CMA Awards: The Country Universe Dream Ballot

2022 Grammy Awards: Predictions and Personal Picks

Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes: Seven Contemporary Artists Carrying On the Nineties Country Legacy



Best of 2022

The Chicks: Ranked!

The First Country Album You Ever Bought

Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?

Artist Features

Kate Bush:

Reflections on “Running Up That Hill ( A Deal With God)”

The Chicks:


Introduction | #81-#51#50-#26 | #25-#1

Tom T. Hall:

Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists

Olivia Newton-John:

Her 25 Best Country Songs

Pam Tillis:


Introduction | #188-#151 | #151-#101 |

#100-#76 | #75-#51 | #50-#26 | #25-#1

Wynonna & The Judds:

Reflections on a Greatest Hits Christmas

Trisha Yearwood

A Retrospective:

Part Five: 2000-2002 | Part Six: 2005-2009

Classic Country Singles

John Conlee, “Miss Emily’s Picture”

David Frizzell, “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino (to Decorate Our Home)”




Jake Blount, The New Faith

BRELAND, Cross Country

Kane Brown, Different Man

Miko Marks and the Resurrectors, Feel Like Going Home

Ashley McBryde, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville

Reba McEntire, My Chains are Gone: Hymns & Gospel Favorites

Tami Neilson, Kingmaker

Sunny Sweeney, Married Alone


Adeem the Artist, “Middle of a Heart”

Jimmie Allen, “Down Home”

Kelsea Ballerini, “HEARTFIRST”

Banditos, “Here Tonight”

Jake Blount, “The Man was Burning”

BRELAND, “For What it’s Worth”

Lee Brice, “Soul”

Kane Brown, “Leave You Alone”

Kane Brown, “Like I Love Country Music”

Kane Brown, “Whiskey Sour”

Kane Brown featuring Katelyn Brown, “Thank God”

Zoe Cummins & Gabe Lee, “Common Law”

Jesse Daniel featuring Jody Lyford, “You Asked Me To”

Ronnie Dunn, “Broken Neon Hearts”

Mary Gauthier, “Fall Apart World”

Joshua Hedley, “Neon Blue”

Will Hoge, “Whose God is This?”

Sam Hunt, “23”

Jelly Roll, “Son of a Sinner”

Cody Johnson, “‘Til You Can’t”

The Kentucky Gentlemen, “Whatever You’re You Up For”

Amythyst Kiah, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Miranda Lambert, “Strange”

Miranda Lambert, “Y’all Means All”

Nikki Lane, “First High”

The Last Bandoleros and Hannah Brier, “California Moon”

Roberta Lea, “Too Much of a Woman”

Gabe Lee, “Rusty”

Little Big Town, “Hell Yeah”

Lyle Lovett, “12th of June”

Miko Marks and the Resurrectors, “Feel Like Going Home”

Ashley McBryde featuring Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, and Pillbox Patti, “Bonfire at Tina’s”

Jo Dee Messina, “Heads Carolina, Tails California”

Mike and the Moonpies, “Hour On the Hour”

Jenny Mitchell featuring Tami Neilson, “Trouble Finds a Girl”

Tami Neilson featuring Willie Nelson, “Beyond the Stars”

Ian Noe, “Pine Grove”

Catie Offerman, “Happyland Trailer Park”

Joy Oladokun featuring Chris Stapleton, “Sweet Symphony”

Jon Pardi, “Last Night Lonely”

Dolly Parton, “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans”

Carly Pearce, “What He Didn’t Do”

Mackenzie Porter, “Coming Soon to a Bar Near You”

Julie Roberts and Jamey Johnson, “Music City’s Killing Me”

Emily Scott Robinson, “Built On Bones”

SACHA, “We Did”

Blake Shelton, “No Body”

Caitlyn Smith, “High”

Billy Strings, “Catch and Release”

Sunny Sweeney featuring Paul Cauthen, “A Song Can’t Fix Everything”

Cole Swindell, “She Had Me at Heads Carolina”

Carrie Underwood, “Ghost Story”

Keith Urban, “Wild Hearts”

Kelsey Waldon, “Sweet Little Girl”

Clay Walker, “Catching Up With an Ol’ Memory”

The War and Treaty, “That’s How Love is Made”

Watkins Family Hour featuring Fiona Apple, “(Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You”

Hailey Whitters, “Everything She Ain’t”

Lainey Wilson, “Heart Like a Truck”


Marissa R. Moss, Her Country


Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl


The Black Opry at Woodsongs

Kane Brown with Walker Hayes and RaeLynn


Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties



Garth Brooks, “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)”

Wynonna, “Only Love”

Tracy Byrd, “Holdin’ Heaven”

Vince Gill, “One More Last Chance”

Clay Walker, “What’s it to You”

Clint Black, “No Time to Kill”

George Strait, “Easy Come, Easy Go”

Reba McEntire with Linda Davis, “Does He Love You”

Brooks & Dunn, “She Used to Be Mine”

Mark Chesnutt, “Almost Goodbye”

Alabama, “Reckless”

Garth Brooks, “American Honky-Tonk Bar Association”

Little Texas, “God Blessed Texas”

Trisha Yearwood, “The Song Remembers When”

Tracy Lawrence, “My Second Home”

Doug Supernaw, “I Don’t Call Him Daddy”



Faith Hill, “Wild One”

Doug Stone, “I Never Knew Love”

Shenandoah, “I Want to Be Loved Like That”

 Clay Walker, “Live Until I Die”

John Michael Montgomery, “I Swear”

George Strait, “I’d Like to Have That One Back”

Mark Chesnutt, “I Just Wanted You to Know”

Vince Gill, “Tryin’ to Get Over You”

Neal McCoy, “No Doubt About It”

Mary Chapin Carpenter, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”

Alan Jackson, “(Who Says) You Can’t Have it All”

Little Texas, “My Love”

Lee Roy Parnell, “I’m Holding My Own”

Sammy Kershaw, “I Can’t Reach Her Anymore”

Tracy Lawrence, “If the Good Die Young”

 Faith Hill, “Piece of My Heart”

Clint Black, “A Good Run of Bad Luck”

John Berry, “Your Love Amazes Me”

Shenandoah, “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)”

Toby Keith, “Wish I Didn’t Know Now”

Tim McGraw, “Don’t Take the Girl”

Brooks & Dunn, “That Ain’t No Way to Go”

Vince Gill, ‘Whenever You Come Around”

Neal McCoy, “Wink”

Collin Raye, “Little Rock”

Mary Chapin Carpenter, “I Take My Chances”

Travis Tritt, “Foolish Pride”

BlackHawk, “Every Once in a While”

 Alan Jackson, “Summertime Blues”

Sammy Kershaw, “National Working Woman’s Holiday”

John Michael Montgomery, “Be My Baby Tonight”

Diamond Rio, “Love a Little Stronger”

 Clay Walker, “Dreaming With My Eyes Open”

Randy Travis, “Whisper My Name”

Rick Trevino, “She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry”

Trisha Yearwood, “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)”

Vince Gill, “What the Cowgirls Do”

Joe Diffie, “Third Rock From the Sun”

Toby Keith, “Who’s That Man”

Brooks & Dunn, “She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind”

Garth Brooks, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”

Pam Tillis, “When You Walk in the Room”

Alan Jackson, “Livin’ On Love”

Tracy Lawrence, “I See it Now”

Clay Walker, “If I Could Make a Living”

Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Shut Up and Kiss Me”

John Michael Montgomery, “If You’ve Got Love”

Vince Gill, “When Love Finds You”

George Strait, “The Big One”

Faith Hill, “Take Me As I Am”

Joe Diffie, “Pickup Man”


Tim McGraw, “Not a Moment Too Soon”

Alan Jackson, “Gone Country”

Reba McEntire, “Till You Love Me”

Pam Tillis, “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)”

Sawyer Brown, “This Time”

Patty Loveless, “Here I Am”

Wade Hayes, “Old Enough to Know Better”

Collin Raye, “My Kind of Girl”

George Strait, “You Can’t Make a Heart Love Somebody”

Tracy Lawrence, “As Any Fool Can See”

Clint Black, “Wherever You Go”

Clay Walker, “This Woman and This Man”

Trisha Yearwood, “Thinkin’ About You”

Joe Diffie, “So Help Me Girl”

Reba McEntire, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”

Alabama, “Give Me One More Shot”

Brooks & Dunn, “Little Miss Honky Tonk”

John Michael Montgomery, “I Can Love You Like That”

Tracy Byrd, “The Keeper of the Stars”

Mark Chesnutt, “Gonna Get a Life”

Ty Herndon, “What Mattered Most”

John Berry, “Standing On the Edge of Goodbye”

Clint Black, “Summer’s Comin'”

Wade Hayes, “I’m Still Dancin’ With You”

Patty Loveless, “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am”

Tracy Lawrence, “Texas Tornado”

John Michael Montgomery, “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”

Travis Tritt, “Tell Me I Was Dreaming”

Shania Twain, “Any Man of Mine”

Vince Gill, “You Better Think Twice”

 Reba McEntire, “And Still”

 Alan Jackson, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name”

Lee Roy Parnell, “A Little Bit of You”

Brooks & Dunn, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”

Lorrie Morgan, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”

Jeff Carson, “Not On Your Love”

Alabama, “She Ain’t Your Ordinary Girl”

Clint Black, “One Emotion”

Tim McGraw, “I Like it, I Love it”

Bryan White, “Someone Else’s Star”

Collin Raye, “One Boy, One Girl”

Tracy Lawrence, “If the World Had a Front Porch”

Garth Brooks, “She’s Every Woman”

BlackHawk, “I’m Not Strong Enough to Say No”

David Lee Murphy, “Dust On the Bottle”

George Strait, “Check Yes or No”

Clay Walker, “Who Needs You Baby”

Alan Jackson, “Tall, Tall Trees”

Alabama, “In Pictures”

Aaron Tippin, “That’s as Close as I’ll Get to Loving You”

 Tim McGraw, “Can’t Be Really Gone”



Bryan White, “Rebecca Lynn”

Faith Hill, “It Matters to Me”

Shania Twain, “(If You’re Not in it For Love) I’m Outta Here!”

Joe Diffie, “Bigger Than the Beatles”

Collin Raye, “Not That Different”

Alan Jackson, “I’ll Try”

Garth Brooks, “The Beaches of Cheyenne”

Martina McBride, “Wild Angels”

Patty Loveless, “You Can Feel Bad”

Wynonna, “To Be Loved By You”

Diamond Rio, “Walkin’ Away”

Clay Walker, “Hypnotize the Moon”

 Neal McCoy, “You Gotta Love That”

Lonestar, “No News”

Lee Roy Parnell, “Heart’s Desire”

Shania Twain, “You Win My Love”

 John Michael Montgomery, “Long as I Live”

Brooks & Dunn, “My Maria”

George Strait, “Blue Clear Sky”

Bryan White, “I’m Not Supposed to Love You Anymore”

Toby Keith, “Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine On You”

Tracy Lawrence, “Time Marches On”

Alan Jackson, “Home”

Shania Twain, “No One Needs to Know”

Ricochet, “Daddy’s Money”

Sawyer Brown, “Treat Her Right”

George Strait, “Carried Away”

Rhett Akins, “Don’t Get Me Started”

Brooks & Dunn, “I am That Man”

Tim McGraw, “She Never Lets it Go to Her Heart”

James Bonamy, “I Don’t Think I Will”

Rick Trevino, “Learning as You Go”

Bryan White, “So Much For Pretending”

Mindy McCready, “Guys Do it All the Time”

 Ty Herndon, “Living in a Moment”

Tracy Lawrence, “Stars Over Texas”

Trisha Yearwood, “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)”

Paul Brandt, “I Do”

Clint Black, “Like the Rain”

Travis Tritt, “More Than You’ll Ever Know”

Patty Loveless, “Lonely Too Long”

George Strait, “I Can Still Make Cheyenne”

Alan Jackson, “Little Bitty”

Deana Carter, “Strawberry Wine”

Reba McEntire, “The Fear of Being Alone”

LeAnn Rimes, “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)”

Garth Brooks, “That Ol’ Wind”



John Michael Montgomery, “Friends”

Kevin Sharp, “Nobody Knows”

Tracy Lawrence, “Is That a Tear”

Mark Chesnutt, “It’s a Little Too Late”

Brooks & Dunn, “A Man This Lonely”

Vince Gill, “Pretty Little Adriana”

Rick Trevino, “Running Out of Reasons to Run”

Toby Keith, “Me Too”

Deana Carter, “We Danced Anyway”

John Berry, “She’s Taken a Shine”

Reba McEntire, “How Was I to Know”

Trace Adkins, “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing”

Clay Walker, “Rumor Has It”

Kenny Chesney, “When I Close My Eyes”

George Strait, “One Night at a Time”

Alabama, “Sad Lookin’ Moon”

John Michael Montgomery, “I Miss You a Little”

Bryan White, “Sittin’ On Go”

Alan Jackson, “Who’s Cheatin’ Who”

Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “It’s Your Love”

 George Strait, “Carrying Your Love With Me”

Trace Adkins, “I Left Something Turned On at Home”

Lonestar, “Come Cryin’ to Me”

Kenny Chesney, “She’s Got it All”

Toby Keith, “We Were in Love”

Alan Jackson, “There Goes”

John Michael Montgomery, “How Was I to Know”

Collin Raye, “What the Heart Wants”

Lee Ann Womack, “The Fool”

 Diamond Rio, “How Your Love Makes Me Feel”

Deana Carter, “How Do I Get There”

Tim McGraw, “Everywhere”

Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks, “In Another’s Eyes”

 Mark Chesnutt, “Thank God For Believers”

Shania Twain, “Love Gets Me Every Time”

Clint Black, “Something That We Do”

 George Strait, “Today My World Slipped Away”

Michael Peterson, “From Here to Eternity”

Garth Brooks, “Longneck Bottle”

 Martina McBride, “A Broken Wing”



Alan Jackson, “Between the Devil and Me”

Brooks & Dunn, “He’s Got You”

Tim McGraw, “Just to See You Smile”

Sammy Kershaw, “Love of My Life”

Anita Cochran with Steve Wariner, “What if I Said”

Garth Brooks, “She’s Gonna Make It”

George Strait, “Round About Way”

Clint Black, “Nothin’ But the Taillights”

Trisha Yearwood, “Perfect Love”

Jo Dee Messina, “Bye Bye”

Shania Twain, “You’re Still the One”

Garth Brooks, “Two Piña Coladas”

Randy Travis, “Out of My Bones”

Faith Hill, “This Kiss”

Steve Wariner, “Holes in the Floor of Heaven”

Tim McGraw, “One of These Days”

George Strait, “I Just Want to Dance With You”

Mark Wills, “I Do [Cherish You]”

Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, “If You See Him/If You See Her”

Kenny Chesney, “That’s Why I’m Here”

Collin Raye, “I Can Still Feel You”

Clint Black, “The Shoes You’re Wearing”

Terri Clark, “Now That I Found You”

Shania Twain with Bryan White, “From This Moment On”

The Chicks, “There’s Your Trouble”

Garth Brooks, “To Make You Feel My Love”

Trisha Yearwood, “There Goes My Baby”

Faith Hill with Tim McGraw, “Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me”

Jo Dee Messina, “I’m Alright”

George Strait, “True”

Brooks & Dunn, “How Long Gone”

The Wilkinsons, “26 Cents”

 Tim McGraw, “Where the Green Grass Grows”

Mark Wills, “Don’t Laugh at Me”

Lonestar, “Everything’s Changed”

Alabama, “How Do You Fall in Love”

Reba McEntire, “Forever Love”

Shania Twain, “Honey I’m Home”

The Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”

Lee Ann Womack, “A Little Past Little Rock”

Faith Hill, “Let Me Let Go”

Ty Herndon, “It Must Be Love”

Brooks & Dunn, “Husbands and Wives”

Collin Raye, “Someone You Used to Know”

Terri Clark, “You’re Easy On the Eyes”



 Martina McBride, “Wrong Again”

 Randy Travis, “Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man”

 Alan Jackson, “Right On the Money”

 Jo Dee Messina, “Stand Beside Me”

Mark Chesnutt, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

The Chicks, “You Were Mine”

 Sara Evans, “No Place That Far”

Kenny Chesney, “How Forever Feels”

Lee Ann Womack, “I’ll Think of a Reason Later”

Mark Wills, “Wish You Were Here”

Andy Griggs, “You Won’t Ever Be Lonely”

 Tim McGraw, “Please Remember Me”

George Strait, “Write This Down”

Lonestar, “Amazed”

Kenny Chesney, “You Had Me From Hello”

Chely Wright, “Single White Female”

 Tim McGraw, “Something Like That”

Martina McBride, “I Love You”

Clint Black with Lisa Hartman Black, “When I Said I Do”

Brad Paisley, “He Didn’t Have to Be”

Faith Hill, “Breathe”

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties



The Oak Ridge Boys, “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”

T.G. Sheppard, “I’ll Be Coming Back For More”

 Don Williams, “Love Me All Over Again”

 Barbara Mandrell, “Years”

Waylon Jennings, “I Ain’t Living Long Like This”

Anne Murray, “Daydream Believer”

Willie Nelson, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”

Ronnie Milsap, “Why Don’t You Spend the Night”

Bellamy Brothers, “Sugar Daddy”

Conway Twitty, “I’d Love to Lay You Down”

Crystal Gayle, “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye”

Charley Pride, “Honky Tonk Blues”

George Jones & Tammy Wynette, “Two Story House”

Emmylou Harris, “Beneath Still Waters”

Dottie West, “A Lesson in Leavin'”

Eddie Rabbitt, “Gone Too Far'”

Debby Boone, “Are You On the Road to Lovin’ Me Again”

Merle Haggard, “The Way I Am”

Don Williams, “Good Ole Boys Like Me”

Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes, “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer”

Dolly Parton, “Starting Over Again”

Ronnie Milsap, “My Heart”/”Silent Night (After the Fight)”

The Oak Ridge Boys, “Trying to Love Two Women”

George Jones, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

Cristy Lane, “One Day at a Time”

Charley Pride, “You Win Again”

John Conlee, “Friday Night Blues”

Merle Haggard & Clint Eastwood, “Bar Room Buddies”

Mickey Gilley, “True Love Ways”

Mickey Gilley, “Stand By Me”

 Bellamy Brothers, “Dancin’ Cowboys”

Eddie Rabbitt, “Drivin’ My Life Away”

Alabama, “Tennessee River”

Ronnie Milsap, “Cowboys and Clowns”/”Misery Loves Company”

Johnny Lee, “Lookin’ For Love”

T.G. Sheppard, “Do You Wanna Go to Heaven”

Dolly Parton, “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You”

Don Williams, “I Believe in You”

 Razzy Bailey, “Loving Up a Storm”

Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again”

Waylon Jennings, “The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)”

Anne Murray, “Could I Have This Dance”

Kenny Rogers, “Lady”

Ronnie Milsap, “Smoky Mountain Rain”

Crystal Gayle, “If You Ever Change Your Mind”

Alabama, “Why Lady Why”

Johnny Lee, “One in a Million”

Mickey Gilley, “That’s All That Matters”


The Oak Ridge Boys, “Beautiful You”

Merle Haggard, “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink”

Dolly Parton, “9 to 5”

Eddie Rabbitt, “I Love a Rainy Night”

T.G. Sheppard, “I Feel Like Loving You Again”

Razzy Bailey, “I Keep Coming Back”/”True Life Country Music”


In Memoriam

Jeff Carson

Jeff Cook

Peter Cooper

Ralph Emery

Mickey Gilley

Naomi Judd

Loretta Lynn

Olivia Newton-John