Country music's top songs of 2020 show where the genre is headed, and for fans of a more traditional country sound, it could be a good thing.

It's hard to ignore the presence of fiddle, steel and time-tested country themes in songs from Luke CombsRunaway June, Miranda Lambert and Kelsea Ballerini. Sam HuntDan + Shay and Gabby Barrett add more contemporary arrangements to this mix of the best of 2020, but at each song's core is a powerful emotion you can relate to. "Hard to Forget" is as progressive as it gets, but the "Kinfolks" singer is tormented through a lyric that balances the feel-good tempo behind it. It's a jam.

"Stick That in Your Country Song" sneers at an industry that too often goes too far to place nicey-nice. Little Big Town and Maddie & Tae's entries ache in ways we recognize but haven't quite heard before. The No. 1 song on this Top 20 Country Songs of 2020 list has all of the marks of a career song (radio airplay, sales and streaming success, high-profile performances), and it would be, if the artist didn't already have one.

Staff opinion and song integrity are two factors taken into account when creating this list of country music's top songs of the year, but your opinions and each song's commercial success were also weighed in making the final decision. Songs included on the 2019 list of the Top Country Songs are ineligible for this list: For example, Ingrid Andress' "More Hearts Than Mine" was No. 2 last year so you won't find her here.

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