Supergroup Diamond Rio is a stellar example of iconic ’90s and early 2000s country music with 33 charting singles, including five No. 1 songs. They brought a unique blend of bluegrass and country influences to their impeccable harmonies. With their first release, “Meet in the Middle,” Diamond Tio became the first band ever to send a debut single to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The group amassed numerous accolades through the years, including four CMA Group of the Year awards, two ACM Top Vocal Group awards, and a GRAMMY award.
The vocal group came together in 1982 as an attraction for the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville, Tennessee, going by the names Grizzly River Boys and then the Tennessee River Boys before settling on Diamond Rio. One of the founding members was Ty Herndon, who went on to have his own solo career in the mid ‘90s. The band went through several changes in its membership before settling in 1989 with the group fans know today: Marty Roe (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Gene Johnson (mandolin, guitar, fiddle, tenor vocals), Jimmy Olander (lead guitar, banjo), Brian Prout (drums), Dan Truman (keyboards), and Dana Williams (bass guitar, baritone vocals).
Here’s a look back at 10 of the best Diamond Rio songs:
10. “Norma Jean Riley”
Written by Rob Honey, Monty Powell, Dan Truman (1992)
The fourth single from their self-titled album is full of twang and charm. A man laments about needing things like a nice car, a dog, or dance skills to make the woman of his dreams, Norma Jean Riley, fall for him. Even though the song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the band did not make an official music video for it.
9. “How Your Love Makes Me Feel”
Written by Max T. Barnes, Trey Bruce (1997)
In an attempt to describe love, “How Your Love Makes Me Feel” admits that “It won’t sound like anybody else’s version of love.” It runs through a string of comparisons like jumping in the car to buy ice cream and seeing how far you can drive before it melts. The song was the first single from their Greatest Hits compilation album and became the band’s longest-lasting No. 1 hit, holding the position for three weeks.
8. “That’s What I Get For Loving You”
Written by Kent Blazy, Neil Thrasher (1996)
This ballad showcases the vocal group’s iconic harmonies as it tells the story of a redemptive love. “That’s What I Get For Loving You” was the second single from their album IV and it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Written by Al Anderson, Jeffrey Steele (1998)
“Unbelievable” is the ultimate tongue-twister, with buckets full of “-able” words. The hook of the song describes someone “so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable.” It was the second single and namesake of the band’s fifth studio album. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
6. “Beautiful Mess”
Written by Sonny LeMaire, Clay Mills, Shane Minor (2002)
“Beautiful Mess” was Diamond Rio’s most successful crossover single, reaching No.1 for two weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and hitting No. 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The first single from their album Completely describes the “sweet addiction” of falling in love.
5. “In a Week or Two”
Written by Gary Burr, James House (1992)
Peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “In a Week or Two” was the lead single from their second album, Close to the Edge. The song laments about missing a chance in a relationship, listing all the things that he would’ve done “in a week or two.”
4. “I Believe”
Written by Skip Ewing, Donny Kees (2002)
“I Believe” is a powerful ballad that was Diamond Rio’s second single from their album Completely. Describing a love that “can even reach across eternity,” the song offers a comforting hope to listeners who have mourned the death of a loved one. It became the band’s fifth and final No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2003.
3. “Love a Little Stronger”
Written by Billy Crittenden, Chuck Jones, Gregory Swint (1994)
“Love a Little Stronger” showcases the signature sound of Diamond Rio through its simple but impactful instrumentation, harmonies, and lyrics. The title track and first single from their third album reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
2. “One More Day”
Written by Bobby Tomberlin, Steven Dale Jones (2000)
“One More Day” is a poignant ballad that describes a dream of having one wish granted for anything, knowing that it would be for one more day with a loved one. It was the second single and title track from Diamond Rio’s sixth album. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and was a crossover hit, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
1. “Meet in the Middle”
Written by Jim Foster, Chapin Hartford, Don Pfrimmer (1991)
“Meet in the Middle” was Diamond Rio’s debut single from their self-titled debut album, setting the tone for the band’s lasting impact with its infectious melody and chorus. The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, making Diamond Rio the first country music band in history to have its debut single reach No. 1.