June 14, 2024

4 Non-Country Artists Who Had Unexpected Country Hits

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is going country. Musicians like Post Malone and Avril Lavigne are just a few artists who are debuting country albums. Beyonce famously released a country album that went certified platinum this year. 

While it seems like many artists from other genres are jumping on the country bandwagon, this isn’t anything new. There have been quite a few musicians through the years who have defied their usual genres and released chart-topping country hits. Although, it is worth noting that most of those hits were collaborations with established country singers. Let’s take a look at a few non-country artists who had unexpected hits on the country charts!

1. “Over And Over” by Nelly ft. Tim McGraw

This is one of many non-country artists who had unexpected country hits, but it’s nonetheless still surprising. Nelly was historically a rapper until he decided to collaborate on a song with Tim McGraw in 2004. It was a huge hit that made it to no. 3 on the Hot 100. Though, it wasn’t 100% a country song and had notable elements of hip-hop and pop. 

A few years later in 2012, Nelly decided to remix “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, which ended up being a favorite of the band to perform live. In 2016, Nelly hit the country charts yet again with a cover of “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett.

2. “Leave The Pieces” by Michelle Branch (via The Wreckers)

The Wreckers were a short-lived country-pop band formed by pop artist Michelle Branch and musician Jessica Harp. They only recorded one album, which featured the hit song “Leave The Pieces”. Another popular track from the album was “Tennessee”. Unfortunately, unless the duo decides to kick off a reunion tour in the near future, we’ll probably never hear a country song from Branch again.

3. “Do You Know” by Jessica Simpson ft. Dolly Parton

Jessica Simpson was never really a country singer, opting for pop tracks that dominated the airwaves back in the early 2000s. She also famously covered Dolly Parton’s “9 To 5” despite not knowing all of the words to the song

However, this non-country artist had a very “country” look, and she did release at least a few country-leaning tracks during her career. “Do You Know” was a pretty successful collaboration with Parton, who apparently didn’t take offense to Simpson’s not-so-great cover of “9 To 5”. The album Do You Know made it to no. 1 on the country charts.

4. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” by Bon Jovi ft. Jennifer Nettles

Jon Bon Jovi has always been one to play around with genres, though rock music was always at the core of his band Bon Jovi. In 2007, the band released Lost Highway, which ended up being a massive country success. It also wasn’t that much of a divergence from their original sound; really, they just threw in some more steel guitar and twang

“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” ended up being a huge hit from the album, though Jennifer Nettles’ vocals definitely had a major hand in the song’s success.

[Catch Jennifer Nettles Of Sugarland Live In 2024]

Photo by Rick Diamond

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