This list includes the top 10 crossover country songs performed by major artists. These songs have contributed to much success on country and pop music charts, and helped to further each artists’ career in the industry.
In USA Today, Cash mentioned Hurt was the “best anti-drug song” that he had ever heard. Originally written by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails fame, this song helped to reminisce on a dark-era for the country singer. During the 1960’s, Cash was living a dark life, which is evident in the lyrics, “I hurt myself today/To see if I still feel/I focus on the pain/The only thing that’s real”. This song helped to display truth and reality behind the music.
How Do I Live-Leann Rimes
This song would help turn this country singer into a crossover sensation with this powerful ballad. Written by Diane Warren, this song didn’t receive as much airplay on the Country Music charts as it did on the Pop charts. Trisha Yearwoods also performed this song, which aimed more towards country music listeners. The song helped boost Rimes’ musicial transition into pop music.
I Will Always Love You-Dolly Parton
This song reached #53 on the pop charts in 1982, according to Songfacts.com. This song was dedicated to Parton’s friend Porter Wagoner, whom she showed much love and appreciation for. This song was also made famous on the R&B charts by singing sensation Whitney Houston for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Due to this song becoming popular again in the early 90’s, Parton continued receiving large royalties for this powerful song choice.
What Hurts the Most-Rascal Flatts
Off of the album Me and My Gang, this song helped to broaden the musical array for this country music band. This song won the 2007 BMI Song of the Year, according to the Band’s official website. This song had strong, emotional lyrics including, “What hurts the most/Was being so close?And having so much to say/And watching you walk away”. This song would help turn this band into pop music phenomenons with this smashing hit.
This powerful ballad would be a crossover success for Rogers in 1980. Written and produced by Lionel Richie, this song would peak at #1 on the 1980 US Billboard Hot 100 charts. This song featured beautiful lyrics including, “Lady/I’m your knight in shining armor/And I love you”. This was the ultimate love song, which was meant for Rogers to sing.
Love Story-Taylor Swift
At such a young age, this song helped turn this singer/songwriter into an overnight crossover success. This song was released from the 2008 album Fearless and was a top 5 hit on the Billboard Top 100 charts. Swift wrote this song to give off the feel of a Romeo and Juliet vibe, with lyrics such as, “Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone/I’ll be waiting, all there’s left to do is run/You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess/It’s a love story”. This song would go on to be made into several remixes and would receive recognition for this artist.
Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy-Big and Rich
Released in 2004, this song would help turn this band into crossover success into the pop music genre. Off of the debut album Horse of a Different Color, this song would be a major hit for this duo. The song was featured in many different commercials and tv shows, such as Chevrolet commercials during the Superbowl, and during ESPN’s coverage of the 2005 World Series of Poker tournaments.
You’re Still the One-Shania Twain
Featured on 1997’s Come On Over, this ballad would be much success for country-pop crossover artist Shania Twain. This song was written by Twain and her than-husband Mutt Lange as a tribute to each other. This single would go on to debut on the Adult-Contemporary charts at #26.
This Kiss-Faith Hill
Released from the self-titled album Faith, the single would hit #7 on the pop charts for this country music sensation. This song would be a huge crossover hit for Faith Hill, with lyrics such as, “It’s the way you love me/It’s a feeling like this/It’s centripical motion/It’s perpetual bliss”. This song was an up-tempo song about being in love, that would help to give Faith Hill crossover success in the pop music genre.
Don’t Take the Girl-Tim McGraw
This crossover hit reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, as it featured some deep lyrics from this country music artist. The song represents three different scenarios with the lyrics captured in the song. The first scenario portrays the character as a young boy who sees a girl while fishing, but doesn’t want the girl to go and pleads to this father saying,”Don’t take the girl.” The second scenario shows the boy as a teenager who was robbed while on a date with the same girl from 10 years prior. He gives up all of his belongings and tells the robber “Don’t take the girl.” The final scenario shows the teenager as a young adult who is pleading with the Lord to not let his wife die while in labor, and prays, “Please don’t take the girl.” This song is one of the most powerful ballads to be a crossover success for Tim McGraw and still remains one of the top country-pop crossover hits in the world.