2019 was a huge year for country music.
The year will be most remembered for the unprecedented number of tracks that reached mainstream audiences.
ARIA winner Morgan Evans continued to grow his audience both locally and internationally with his songs ‘Young Again’ and ‘Diamonds.’
With all that said, here is our completely subjective Tone Country Best 10 Country Songs of 2019 list…
10. ‘Hey Brother’ – The Wolfe Brothers
The Wolfe Brothers consider the incredibly moving final single from their Golden Guitar winning album Country Heart, the “most important” they’ve ever recorded.
“It is a song directly inspired by those who’ve served our country,” say The Wolfe Brothers.
“Through touring Australia in 2015 as part of the Spirit Of The Anzacs tour we got to meet so many incredible veterans and hear their stories.”
“The veteran space is such a complex and sensitive one and it’s been a honour to learn more about it through the journey of this song,” they say.
Check out ‘Hey Brother’ by The Wolfe Brothers
9. ‘The Bones’ – Maren Morris
2019 was such a landmark year for Maren Morris. She topped the charts and set new streaming records with her sophomore album, GIRL.
That album also won Album of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards.
The title track ‘GIRL’ started so many positive conversations in relation to equality and feminism.
Morris was also a member of The Highwomen, who released a critically acclaimed album in September.
And late in the year, Morris announced that she with give birth to her first child, with husband Ryan Hurd, next year.
Ironically, it will be a BOY!
But musically, it was ‘The Bones’ that made the biggest mark. With over 300 million streams, the incredibly catchy and infectious multi-format tune has become her most commercially successful track as a solo artist to date.
Morris later recorded a new version of ‘The Bones’ with Hozier.
Check out ‘The Bones’ by Maren Morris
8. ‘Where I Wanna Be’ – Lee Kernaghan featuring Robby X
Lee Kernaghan did it again with his ARIA Country #1 album Backroad Nation!
The boy from the bush scored eight nominations for the upcoming Golden Guitar Awards as well as completing another monster tour across Australia in support of the new album.
Of the singles from the album, it was ‘Where I Wanna Be’ which most caught our attention.
Kernaghan invited fans to be in the music video ahead of release.
And ‘Where I Wanna Be’ hit #1 on the The Music Network’s Country Hot 50 just before Christmas.
Most significantly, the song features Kernaghan’s wife Robby X and is the first #1 for them in musical collaboration.
Check out ‘Where I Wanna Be’ by Lee Kernaghan featuring Robby X
7. ‘Whiskey Glasses’ – Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen was the breakout new star at this year’s CMC Rocks Qld festival.
His song ‘Whiskey Glasses’ was also a breakout song on US country radio.
In fact ‘Whiskey Glasses’ was the most played track on country radio in 2019.
His year hasn’t been controversy free, with a bunch of music snobs critical of his decision to cover the Jason Isbell song ‘Cover Me Up’ at his shows.
However, Isbell himself is a fan of Wallen’s version and has publicly voiced support.
Man, your opinion means more to me than anyone else’s when it comes to this. Thank you. https://t.co/9YWxHnDDNV
— morgan wallen (@MorganWallen) December 14, 2019
Check out ‘Whiskey Glasses’ by Morgan Wallen
6. ‘Memphis T-Shirt’ – Melanie Dyer
The single that finished the year at #1 on the Country Hot 50 single chart, was the breakout song from an Australian female in 2019.
Not only did ‘Memphis T-Shirt’ top the country charts, but it has become a popular tune on the Hit and Nova radio networks across Australia.
Listen to our Tone Countrycast with Melanie Dyer
“This response is blowing me away. I’m doing a major happy dance right now,” said Dyer on Instagram when telling fans about the #1 result.
Dyer talks about the song in great detail in the final episode in 2019 of the Tone Countrycast.
Check out ‘Memphis T-Shirt’ by Melanie Dyer
5. ‘Diamonds’ – Morgan Evans
‘Diamonds,’ a song Morgan Evans says “celebrates that journey, from lost to found,” was inspired by his wife Kelsea Ballerini.
“We’re all a little bit lost. We are all looking for something to believe in. Sometimes the harder you look for it, the further away it feels,” says Evans in the video’s pre-song monologue.
“And then one day you’ll see her. She’ll laugh and everything you thought you knew before won’t mean a damn thing, And at the same time it’ll all make perfect sense. Just like that, it’s forever. Like a diamond,” he continues.
‘Diamonds’ has proven to be very popular across both country and pop formats.
Evans is nominated for four Golden Guitar Awards in January.
4. ‘Homecoming Queen’ – Kelsea Ballerini
This may not end up being Kelsea Ballerini’s highest charting or most commercially successful song.
But when people talk about authenticity (a generally overused and incredibly subjective term), this song ticks all the boxes.
‘Homecoming Queen’ wasn’t written and recorded to satisfy an algorithm, but rather to lay bare some very real and honest feelings.
Listen to our Tone Countrycast with Kelsea Ballerini
“I think, for me, I was in a really insecure season of my life, and no one would know that because I don’t show that. And then I wrote this song, and it helped make me feel better. And, now I feel better because I was able to just say, ‘Wait a second, I’m actually kinda not OK right now.’ And in saying that, I was able to be OK,” said Ballerini on an episode of the Tone Countrycast.
Ballerini’s stripped back performance of the song at the CMA Awards further enhanced its credentials.
Check out ‘Homecoming Queen’ by Kelsea Ballerini
3. ‘We Were’ – Keith Urban
Australia’s biggest country star had another bumper year in 2019 with a bunch of new releases.
For us, ‘We Were,’ which was still climbing the airplay charts at the end of 2019, was the pick of them.
Following the original release, Urban released a new version of ‘We Were’ with Eric Church.
He finished the year in Australia hosting the official opening of the new Sydney Coliseum at West HQ.
2. ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart’ – Luke Combs
The anticipation for this release, which finally took place on May 10, was huge.
Luke Combs was playing ‘Beer Never Broke Heart’ in his live show encore months before ever releasing the song commercially.
He even used the title as his 2019 tour name… again before releasing the track.
So it was no surprise when this song quickly went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart as well as scoring over 150 million streams so far.
Along with ‘1,2 Many’ and ‘Even Though I’m Leaving,’ it helped pave the way for an all-genre #1 album result in the USA and Australia in November for his latest album, What You See Is What You Get.
Check out ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart’ by Luke Combs
1. ‘The Git Up’ – Blanco Brown
Not only was this the breakout country song of 2019, it also created a dance phenomenon on TikTok and other social media platforms.
Blurring the lines between Country and hip-hop music, Blanco Brown unleashed a southern sound that he proudly calls “TrailerTrap” in 2019.
With over 500 million streams across audio and video, this was the breakout country song of 2019.
Listen to our Tone Countrycast with Blanco Brown
It was also glued to the top of download charts throughout the year.
Billboard praised Brown for helping decrease racial barriers in Country music.
Blanco Brown was also our special guest on episode #2 of the Tone Countrycast while in Australia to perform at Country to Country Australia.
Our #1 song for 2019 is also the perfect tune to bring in the new year!