Songwriting legend Harlan Howard once described county music as "three chords and the truth," a genre of music that stands strong on a foundation of masterful storytelling. What better to enhance a well-written song than a powerful music video?

Triumphant, despairing or sorrowful, country music videos have long provided a visual backdrop for some of music's most poignant lyrics. The Boot counts down the Top 10 saddest videos released by some of country music's biggest superstars.

  • 10

    'Somebody's Chelsea'

    Reba McEntire

    Everyone has a story, and no country singer is a more compelling storyteller than Reba. The video icon, with the help of acting legend Ed Asner, tugs at the heartstrings in this video from her 'All the Women I Am' album, reminding us that all we ever want is to be 'Somebody's Chelsea.'

  • 9

    'Tonight I Wanna Cry'

    Keith Urban

    Coming to terms with heartbreak and washing away the anguish with a few tears can often be the most effective way of coping with grief. Keith testifies to this belief with the last video he made before marrying Nicole Kidman. Come to think of it, marrying Nicole is probably a pretty good alternative to tears.

  • 8



    Sometimes big budgets and epic plots can't compare to the power of simplicity. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush prove that with this memorable performance. Armed with just a guitar and a piece of masterful songwriting, Sugarland succeed in conveying simple -- and painfully raw -- emotion.

  • 7

    'Just a Dream'

    Carrie Underwood

    Carrie displayed some serious acting chops in this gut-wrenching video, portraying a young woman coming to terms with the loss of her serviceman fiance, killed in the line of duty. Had it not been for her blissful real-life marriage, it would be easy to mistake her convincing portrayal as one rooted in reality.

  • 6

    'What Hurts the Most'

    Rascal Flatts

    Taking a risk with the video for 'What Hurts the Most,' the trio produced a realistic, cinematic account of a young woman coping with the grief of losing her high-school sweetheart. The epic clip played more like a mini movie than a three-minute music video.

  • 5

    'Concrete Angel'

    Martina McBride

    One never to shy away from powerful lyrics, Martina tackled the taboo subject of child abuse in 'Concrete Angel,' releasing an intense clip that avoids sugarcoating one of America's most insidious silent epidemics. The video obviously struck a chord with music listeners -- to date it's been viewed more than 16 million times.

  • 4

    'Tell Me I Was Dreaming'

    Travis Tritt

    The second video in a trilogy of clips featuring Travis as the fictional character Mac Singleton, 'Tell Me I Was Dreaming' shows the disabled serviceman's pregnant wife, Annie, falling off a dock and hitting her head. The controversial clip ends with Anne passing away after giving birth to a healthy baby girl. In spite of the sad ending, Travis' performance helped fuel the singer's big-screen acting career.

  • 3

    'Walk a Little Straighter'

    Billy Currington

    Billy Currington drew on his own difficult childhood with an abusive alcoholic stepfather for this video, which somberly portrays the many times a child has been let down. Currington gives a painfully honest performance as an adult looking back at his own past, intercut with wrenching footage of a childhood filled with disappointment and pain.

  • 2


    Johnny Cash

    Johnny released this visual masterpiece in 2002, just months before his passing at the age of 71. Featuring his wife, the late June Carter Cash, the video's message of mortality and fragility served as a poignant conclusion to the life of a conflicted, yet tremendously talented American icon.

  • 1

    'Whiskey Lullaby'

    Brad Paisley

    Tragedy has never looked as poetic as in this clip, directed by and co-starring actor Rick Schroder. The World War II-era video depicts a young serviceman's return home to find his wife in the arms of another man. Alcohol and the anguish of infidelity ultimately claim the lives of two deeply troubled souls. Alison Krauss joined Paisley on this haunting track.