Both songs were big crossover hits. "Need You Now" reached #2 on the Hot 100. "Love Story" hit #4. The poignant "Need You Now," which blends elements of pop-rock, country and adult contemporary, evokes 1970s hits by such acts as Eagles and England Dan & John Ford Coley.
Swift also still has the top-selling country album in digital history. In fact, she has the top two: Fearless, which has sold 718,000 digital copies, and Speak Now, which has sold 557,000. (Lady A's Need You Now is in third place, with digital sales of 455K).
Here are the top 10 country songs in digital history, together with eight other songs that hold key digital records. The list includes many country classics, including three that were voted Single of the Year by the Country Music Assn.: "Need You Now," Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" and the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now," 4,971,000. This bittersweet smash topped the country chart for five weeks in late 2009. It hit #2 on the Hot 100 in early 2010. It won Grammys for Record and Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Taylor Swift, "Love Story," 4,962,000. This is the best-selling country hit by a female solo artist. Swift's 2009 hit topped the country chart for two weeks and reached #4 on the pop chart. The elegant, Romeo And Juliet-themed video won a CMA Award for Music Video of the Year. Carrie Underwood, "Before He Cheats," 3,191,000. Underwood toughened up her sound on this revenge saga, which topped the country chart for five weeks in late 2006. It reached #8 on the Hot 100 in 2007. The song won a Grammy for Song of the Year and was nominated for Song of the Year. Underwood also won for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Zac Brown Band, "Chicken Fried," 2,662,000. Brown's ode to the "little things in life" topped the country chart for two weeks in December 2008. It hit #20 on the Hot 100. Rascal Flatts, "Life Is A Highway," 2,557,000. This song, from the animated movie Cars, is the best-selling country hit that was recorded for a movie. The 2006 hit has a punchy pop-rock sound that is closer to Nickelback than Nickel Creek, which explains why it climbed higher on the pop chart (#7) than it did on the country chart (#18). Rascal Flatts, "What Hurts The Most," 2,280,000. This poignant song about life's biggest regrets topped the country chart for four weeks in the spring of 2006. It reached #6 on the Hot 100.
Here are eight more songs that hold key digital records, along with their current ranking on Nielsen SoundScan's list of the 200 best-selling country songs in digital history.Sugarland, "Stuck Like Glue," 1,812,000. This playful 2010 hit, which blends elements of pop, country and calypso, is the top-selling country hit by a duo. It reached #2 on the country chart and #17 on the Hot 100. The excellent video gave Jennifer Nettles a chance to show off her comedic flair. Jason Aldean, "Big Green Tractor," 1,679,000. This is the top-selling country hit by a male solo artist. The song topped the country chart for four weeks in September 2009. It reached #18 on the Hot 100. Charlie Daniels Band, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," 1,421,000. This classic story song is the top-selling country hit from the 1970s. It topped the country chart in August 1979 and reached #3 on the pop chart. The fiddle-soaked smash won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Johnny Cash, "Ring Of Fire," 1,305,000. This sensual song is the top-selling country hit from the 1960s. June Carter and Merle Kilgore co-wrote the song, which topped the country chart for seven weeks in the summer of 1963. It peaked at #17 on the Hot 100. The spicy brass arrangement gives it extra pep. Brad Paisley (featuring Alison Krauss), "Whiskey Lullaby," 1,113,000. This haunting 2004 song about betrayal and heartbreak is the top-selling country collaboration in digital history. It peaked at #3 on the country chart and #41 on the Hot 100. In addition, it won CMA Awards as Song of the Year, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Lonestar, "Amazed," 928,000. This romantic ballad is the top-selling country hit that was first released in the 1990s. The song topped the country chart for eight weeks in the summer of 1999 and topped the pop chart for two weeks in March 2000. Hank Williams Jr., "A Country Boy Can Survive," 581,000. There were hundreds of #1 country hits in the 1980s, but this song, which is the best-selling hit from that decade in the digital realm, peaked at #2 on the country chart in 1982. It didn't make the pop chart at all. The hit, a tribute to the grit and resourcefulness of country folk, was re-issued in 2007.
- Taylor Swift
- Carrie Underwood
- Rascal Flatts