Top Country Music Songs of 2009

Let's take a look at some of the best songs released to radio in 2009. Perhaps some of these will make their way onto your greatest hits list.

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“Love Story” – Taylor Swift

Big Machine Records

The first single off of Taylor Swift's 2008 album Fearless, “Love Story” shows off her prodigious talent for writing infectious hook-laden songs of love and loss for the high school crowd. Taylor’s voice isn’t the strongest in country by any stretch, but her conviction, especially in “Love Story,” is undeniable. And she writes or co-writes everything—girl’s just printing money!

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“Alright” – Darius Rucker

Despite Darius Rucker’s very recognizable voice from his Hootie days, his foray into country music is proving a real breath of fresh air, and it’s just the shot in the arm some feel country has needed for a couple of years. Rucker’s personality shines through beautifully on the peppy single, “Alright,” which makes him three-for-three on his debut album Learn to Live.

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“God Love Her” – Toby Keith

The plot of Toby Keith’s 18th No. 1 country single, “God Love Her,” is not a new one: good girl (a preacher’s daughter, no less) meets bad boy, and the rest is young love history. Despite its clichéd story, “God Love Her” mixes in just the right amount of driving rock, country and pop, resulting in one of Toby’s finer efforts of the last few years.

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“Feel That Fire” – Dierks Bently

Upbeat with some catchy vocal gymnastics in the verses, Dierks Bentley’s schmaltzy “Feel That Fire” reeks of having been hatched by Dierks and his three co-writers in about six minutes over a game of pool in some Music Row publishing house. It’s catchy enough if not enduring.

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“Sweet Thing” – Keith Urban

Keith Urban’s wonderfully passionate and intense song, "Sweet Thing," is a pop-country confection that showcases his prowess on the guitar. Even more impressive is just how perfectly Keith’s dazzling musicianship complements his earnest vocals.

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“Big Green Tractor” - Jason Aldean

On first listen, Jason Aldean’s catchy though quite disposable “Big Green Tractor” screams radio hit. The lyrics are silly, but the production is top-notch, and it’s definitely more country in feel than some of his earlier singles. Aldean continues moving in the right direction.

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“Summer Nights” – Rascal Flatts

Co-written by Rascall Flatts singer, Gary LeVox, “Summer Nights” is a frolicking slice country-pop paradise (with a much heavier emphasis on the pop). Loud driving guitars might alienate the more traditional-minded, but this infectious song wasn’t written for them anyway.

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“White Horse” – Taylor Swift

Elegantly understated and, dare I say, mature, “White Horse” is a gem from Taylor Swift, the reigning queen of country-pop. Gone are the fairytale endings and fantasies of scorned teenage vengeance, and Taylor’s understated vocals have never sounded better or more honest.

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“Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” – Jake Owen

On the soulful “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,” Jake Owen dials back his impressive country wail, and the result is a warm and surprisingly bluesy vibe. A very nice change of pace from Mr. Owen.

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“I Run to You” – Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum's first No. 1 country single, “I Run to You,” is a soothing and melodic stroll that wonderfully highlights the group’s pristine vocals. A sweet and solid effort from this talented trio’s debut album.

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“I Told You So” – Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood's strong cover of Randy Travis' “I Told You So” further cements her status as the gorgeous girl-next-door with the biggest pipes in all of country music. Carrie’s version holds its own nicely against Travis’ sterling original cut.

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“Sissy’s Song” – Alan Jackson

The ever-reliable and consistent Alan Jackson keeps it simple and very touching in this low-key and deeply personal song about his beloved housekeeper, “Sissy,” who died in a motorcycle accident.

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“Out Last Night” – Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney's up-tempo and flat-out fun “Out Last Night” is more traditionally country than his previous slew of beach-themed songs. His singing is smooth, confident and carefree, and the single forever puts to bed any lingering question about whether Chesney is country’s heir apparent to Jimmy Buffet.

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“She’s Country” – Jason Aldean

The quiet banjo intro to Jason Aldean's “She’s Country” hints at a bluegrass ballad in the making, but the illusion is quickly shattered when loud amped-up guitars kick this country-rocker into screaming overdrive. Totally derivative but entirely fun, “She’s Country” is Aldean’s second No. 1 country hit.

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“Sideways” – Dierks Bentley

Taking a well-deserved break from the lovelorn ballads that were threatening to pigeonhole Dierks Bently’s young career, his seventh No. 1 song, “Sideways,” is a rollicking ode to the time-tested theme of having a good time while getting your drink on.

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“It Happens” – Sugarland

Sugarland’s wonderful singer, Jennifer Nettles, showcases her powerful and patented twang as she laughs off life’s mistakes with a happy shrug in “It Happens,” the duo’s third single from its wildly successful 2008 album Love On The Inside.

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“People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington

No longer just “that guy who sang that silly song with Shania Twain,” Billy Currington is finally emerging as an artist to be taken seriously. His brisk feel-good single, “People Are Crazy,” is an engaging tale of two men ages apart sitting down for a beer and talking about how everyone else in the world is crazy.

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“Strange” – Reba McEntire

Reba's first single for the Valory label, “Strange,” is a sassy and confident number about the joys of getting over an ex-lover in about two seconds flat. Country’s consummate diva sounds rejuvenated, fresh and loaded for bear.

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“It Won’t Be Like This for Long” – Darius Rucker

The second single from Darius Rucker's surprising debut country album, Learn to Live, is a profoundly beautiful and tenderly executed ballad. His warm vocals carry you gently through the song’s promise of better times ahead, and by the end, it’s hard not to believe him.

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“Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band

Co-written by Zac Brown and Wyatt Durette, “Chicken Fried” has been around the block a time or two. It first appeared on the Zac Brown Band’s 2005 album Home Grown. A year later, The Lost Trailers took a crack at it with modest results. Zac and the boys re-recorded it for their 2008 album, The Foundation, a move that paid off handsomely when it became their first No. 1 Country hit.