When The Boot asked our readers, "What's the worst country song that, unbelievably to you, was a big hit?" the response was overwhelming!
Not everybody likes every song, and it's only natural that when a song becomes a big hit, it turns off some people as much as it turns on others. But country fans make no bones about the fact that there's just something about certain songs that drives them crazy -- no matter how successful they were on the charts.
After reading hundreds of comments and tallying up the votes, The Boot counts down our readers' choices for the 10 Worst Country Songs That Were Big Hits.
This song lived up to its own title with some country fans, who evidently weren't impressed with its blend of country and pop. But that didn't stop the song from becoming a multi-format smash in America and popping up on the charts all over the world. Its parent album, Come on Over, is one of the best-selling albums in country music history.
"Dirt Road Anthem" is a pivotal kind of song in country music history. The enormous success of the track -- from Aldean's massive My Kinda Party album -- helped usher in the wave of so-called "bro country" that has dominated the genre for the last several years, but with its mix of styles, it's not everyone's cup of tea. Still, love it or hate it, you can't deny it: The track is the best-selling song in digital history by a male country artist.
Sugarland are an act who've never been afraid to push the envelope, and that's part of what's earned them their enormous success. But not every country fan appreciates the pop-country-kinda-rap hybrid of "Stuck Like Glue," landing it in our countdown of the 10 Worst Country Songs That Were Big Hits. Still, the song stuck in fans' heads like glue after reaching No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.
What's not to like about a song that urges people not to drink and drive? Apparently quite a bit, according to some fans -- at least if the alternative is to do a dance called the Watermelon Crawl. Byrd's breezy bit of fun reached No. 4 on the country charts, and a dance remix even crossed over into pop. And while it might not be deeply intellectual, you somehow can't deny that you want to sing along.
Chesney has recorded some of the most intelligent and moving songs in country music -- but this isn't one of them. An unapologetically fun, good-time anthem, "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" scored Chesney a huge career hit, in no small part because of his high-energy performance. Still, somehow we think it's not Chesney's tractor that his female fans find irresistible.
Big & Rich burst onto the scene with the irrepressible "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," which seems like a fun way to contribute to the well-being of animals. But the song's innovative blend of country, pop and not-quite-rap didn't sit well with some fans; our readers voted it one of the 10 Worst Country Songs That Were Big Hits.
Like it or not, the history of country music falls into two main era: BB (Before Badonkadonk) and AB (After Badonkadonk). The song heralded a huge change in country radio, helping to launch the careers of its writers, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and Dallas Davidson; Davidson, in particular, has helped re-shape the face of commercial country radio as a songwriter.
Even before she formally switched to pop, Swift experienced so much crossover success that it was almost bound to cause some sort of backlash. She always had a pop element to her music, but "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" took that an extra step beyond with its dub-step beat and splashy arrangement. Some country purists really didn't like the song, but that didn't stop it from becoming a worldwide mega-hit.
Cyrus shot to overnight fame with this mega-million-selling song, which has subsequently become one of the most divisive songs in country history. Some people love it, some people hate it, but everyone knows it. Cyrus' 2014 appearance on a rap version of the song might not have helped his detractors feel any better, but admit it: You drunkenly line-danced to this song at least once back in the days of your mullet-headed, misspent youth.
If you think Keith's "Red Solo Cup" is stupid, you're not alone. Even the artist himself kind of agrees: "It is the stupidest song I ever heard in my life, but it's so stupid it's good," Keith once told The Boot, laughing about his unexpected, multi-platinum-selling hit. The song practically became a cultural phenomenon, with a music video that has earned more than 50 million views.