The year 2017 brought with it a number of big country hits that lingered at the top of the charts; some (such as Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road") even found a place on the pop charts. But there are just as many stellar country songs that failed to find chart success, even though they had all the makings of a hit.
Below, The Boot counts down 10 country songs that should have been hits in 2017.
When Niemann found this song, which was the second single from his newest album, This Ride, it spoke to him the first time he heard it. The sexy tune, accompanied by the even sexier music video featuring Niemann's real-life wife Morgan, fizzled before it got to the Top 40, although it should have climbed much higher on the charts.
The debut single from Evans' Words album, released in July, "Marquee Sign" sounded like a welcome return to the airwaves for Evans. Reminiscent of her earlier hits, such as "Born to Fly" and "Real Fine Place to Start," but with a more mature and bluesy sound, the song -- which was written by Evans along with hit songwriters Jimmy Robbins and Heather Morgan -- deserved to make the Top 20, at least.
"Woke Up in Nashville" is, as the title suggests, a song about moving from a small town to Music City, but it's also about so much more than that. In the song, Ennis sings, "Been trying to live / With only half of my heart / Just sleep walking in the Tennessee dark / If I can't make every memory with you / Then dreaming's just sleeping here without you," and the tune shows off not only his vocal chops, but his songwriting abilities. As debut singles go, this one should have been a winner.
With a bit of a throwback sound and an assist from Chris Stapleton, "If He Ain't Gonna Love You" followed Owen's No. 1 single "American Country Love Song" -- and it should have followed it right up the charts. The song's lyrics find Owen promising to love a woman who, at least in his mind, isn't being treated as well as she should be. "If He Ain't Gonna Love You" sadly -- and mysteriously -- became Owen's first single to not hit the Top 20 since 2010.
The second single from Wilson's Ready to Get Rowdy record, "Summertime Town" should have been ... well, a summertime hit. With lyrics such as "I don't wanna be your summertime town / Where the beaches close up / When the sun, it goes down," this song could have been blaring all summer long.
The follow-up to RaeLynn's Top 30 single "Love Triangle," "Lonely Call" has solid lyrics ("Now I'm just a midnight number / Familiar voice / When you start to wonder if you made the wrong choice / So let it ring, let it ring all night long / 'Cause I ain't your lonely call"), solid vocals and perfect production. RaeLynn deserves another hit at radio, and she deserved it with this song.
One of the final contestants on Season 10 of The Voice in 2016, Wakefield has vocal chops plenty of artists only dream about, which is especially evident on his single "Blame It on Me." Equal parts heartbreak and hope, "Blame It on Me" had all the makings of a hit, yet it failed to make much noise at radio.
For all the industry love that Stapleton gets, it's mind-boggling that he has yet to have a song reach No.1 on the charts, or even become a major radio hit. "Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning" is everything a country song should be -- melancholy, heartfelt, sincere and sad -- and it was, in fact, a No. 1 song for Willie Nelson in 1983.
It's hard to imagine why this song, which features opening lines "Daddy got sober, Mama got his best friend," didn't become a big hit. Following the success of Alaina's chart-topping single "Road Less Traveled," "Doin' Fine" -- which Alaina admits is an autobiographical look at her own life -- didn't become her second smash at radio.
Adkins says this is the most personal song he's ever recorded, and one of his favorites -- and we agree. The lyrics, which say "I don't go all in, but I'll take a gamble / And I don't burn both ends of the candle anymore ... We still like our whiskey / Now it's just a little watered down," reflect Adkins well-publicized struggle with alcohol, yet also accurately depict how well he has weathered those storms. If it was up to us, "Watered Down" would have been a multi-week smash.