A Tight Race
As artists and fans eagerly awaited the announcement for the Single of the Year winner – everyone knew it was a stiff competition. Each singer and group put their hearts and souls into their songs, and it showed. But only one could be the winner…
“Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton
Music today has seemed to stray away from being the intimate, personal songs we grew up on. Stapleton is the exception. Written after the loss of a longtime friend, the folk-rock ballad has received its fair share of praise.
Chris Parton of Rolling Stone explained that “[The track] offers a tender, lump-in-your-throat reminder to keep the faith, even in the midst of tragedy. Angels appear to help us on our way, Stapleton sings, but when their job is done they leave. . . and we’re not meant to understand why.”
Accompanying the lyrics is Stapleton’s raw, gritty voice that adds an element of reality not many others could even touch.
“Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland
Midland stayed true to the old-school bluesy vibes of country past, but they added a little something special to their “Drinkin’ Problem” tune. Previous country musicians either go full-swing with party anthems about booze or they blame life’s misfortunes on alcohol.
Midland takes a different route and uses the slow-burning feel of sorrowful songs but blatantly states “People say I have a drinking problem/But I’ve got no problem drinking at all.”
Their mid-tempo song has essentially become an anthem for fans in the United States that are content with themselves and feel they don’t need other’s approval to live their lives.
“Drowns the Whiskey,” Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert
Giving a nod to the distilleries in Nashville, the singers open with “All the folks down in Lynchburg, Tennessee/ Been working hard for good ol’ boys like me/ I don’t wanna be the one to tell ’em/ That stuff that they’ve been selling/ Ain’t working like it should/ But I damn sure wish it would.”
The duo’s voices perfectly complement each other and the whole song makes you feel like you’re right there with them in a smokey bar, trying to drown out a painful memory with a bottle of Jack.
“Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
One of the more upbeat songs on the chopping block was the cross-over collaboration of Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha’s “Meant to Be.”
The song tells about a couple coming over their fears from past relationships. It tells, “Who knows where this road is supposed to lead/ We got nothing but time/ As long as you’re right here next to me, everything’s gonna be alright/ If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be.”
The country singers kept their twangy vocals throughout the song as Bebe Rexha added her own flare – both singing over a southern hip-hop styled trap beat. The risk paid off – literally. The song topped the country charts for over 30 weeks!
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay
The Dan + Shay collaboration formed in Nashville, TN in 2012. As singer-songwriters, they put their hearts on the line when they sing their personal music for fans. “Tequila” is no exception. The slow-moving song patiently details how a memory can come back in an instant when they taste their favorite drink.
The duo told Billboard that they “felt like it elevated the game lyrically and production-wise, and Shay’s vocals on it are just ridiculous.”
They were right. “Tequila” peaked at #1 on the U.S. Country Airplay and #2 on Billboards’ Hot Country Songs.
There Could Only Be One
At the end of the day, all songs and artists contributed their own musical edge to the world of country but only one could be the winner.
So, without further ado, your 2018 Single of the Year is…
Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton!!!
— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 15, 2018
You can watch him accept his award in the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 15, 2018