Pour yourself something strong and kick off your cowboy boots because Country Now is celebrating the devoted artists that have made an influential impact on Music City and throughout the country music genre in 2021 with the inaugural Country Now Awards.
For the first time ever, Country Now is recognizing signed and independent musicians that have scored high placement on the charts, released smash hits, held epic performances, and even the country newcomers who have placed their name on the map since January 1, 2021.
Music fans have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Country Now Awards, as they now have the chance to scroll through all 14 categories and hand-pick their favorite artists, songs and albums.
Fans can start voicing their opinion with unlimited votes beginning on Monday, November 15 at 9 AM CT. The polls will close on Tuesday, November 30 at precisely 11:45 PM CT.
To support your favorite artist, head to countrynow.com/vote.
This award goes to an artist whose song was released or reached peak chart position in 2021.
Nothing fuels a singer-songwriter’s fire more than having their heart broken or helping someone through a messy breakup. Throughout history, some of our favorite musicians within country music have managed to cover every base from cheating, divorce to blocking out your unfaithful ex. However, through the power of storytelling – they all deliver their message in a graceful and shocking way, some even encourage their fans to look inward and recognize their self-worth.
So, whether you are coping with a hard split, trying to find the courage to leave an unhealthy relationship, or finally in a strong state of mind ready to step back into the dating scene – we encourage you to browse the hits below and vote for the best breakup ballad that makes you feel some type of way.
“ABBY” – Travis Denning
Written by: Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins, and Chase McGill
Leave it to Travis Denning to carefully craft a breakup ballad that gets music fans laughing. The country newcomer cleverly kisses his future ex goodbye as he spells it all out for her. The star begins the song “Abby” by breaking the bad news to his significant other. However, once she understands what he is trying to say – she casually asks if there is someone else in the picture. His witty response was simply, “Her name is Abby/ that’s Any Body Butt You.” The not-too-serious anthem marks Denning’s third single off his 2020 six-track debut collection, Beer’s Better Cold.
“Breakups” – Seaforth
Written by: Liz Rose, Cameron Bedell, Tom Jordan, and Mitch Thompson
Australian heartthrobs Mitch Thompson and Tom Jordan left their souls on the writing table while penning their emotional song “Breakups” alongside Liz Rose and Cameron Bedell. The relatable track delivers the story behind somebody ending a romantic relationship with their best friend. The vulnerable ballad that served as Seaforth’s first release of 2021 showcases their tender side, growth as vocalists, and the complete opposite of what fans have heard in previous songs “Close Enough” and “Talk About.” “We have both sacrificed a lot in moving to Nashville, leaving out families, and leaving people we love and [leaving] relationships [too]. I had just broken up with my long-distance girlfriend of three years right before we wrote this song,” Jordan shared with Country Now. “So, it was centered around that, but it was like therapy for both of us for different reasons.”
“Just About Over You” – Priscilla Block
Written by: Priscilla Block, Sarah Jones, and Emily Kroll
Nashville’s promising new artist, Priscilla Block, never fails to surprise us with her empowering anthems. Therefore, when she released the breakup ballad “Just About Over You,” we couldn’t help but recommend the tune to friends who are trying to get over a toxic relationship and ex. The track highlights her vocal range and the harsh reality of moving forward after a messy breakup. As an honest storyteller, she also emphasized the dreadful feeling of seeing the ex post-split – in hopes her fans feel less alone. After releasing the track independently in 2020, her loyal fan base pushed it to No.1 on iTunes. Shortly after, the social media sensation turned country-pop songstress scored a record deal with UMG.
“Memory I Don’t Mess With” Lee Brice
Written by: Lee Brice, Billy Montana, and Brian Davis
Award-winning artist Lee Brice penned the heartbreaking single “Memory I Don’t Mess With” alongside Billy Montana and Brian Davis. Throughout the track, he shared the terrible feeling of running into an old girlfriend and having their beautiful memories flash right before his eyes. He fears that if they get too close, he might just experience heartbreak all over again. The nostalgic anthem arrived in October 2020, and the inspiration was pulled from real-life experiences. Following the release, the hit climbed the Billboard Country Airplay chart and hit No.1.
“New Truck” – Dylan Scott
Written by: Hardy, Ashley Gorley, Hunter Phelps, and Ben Johnson
Following the No.1 hit “ Nobody,” Dylan Scott dropped his emotional-driven single “New Truck.” The moving melody is about having something that constantly serves as a reminder of your ex. Within the fan-favorite track, Scott shares a story about his truck and how he begins to think about his old significant other every time he gets behind the driver seat. Therefore, he needs to get a “New Truck” to stop the flashbacks and to move on with his life.
“Should Have Known Better” – Jessie James Decker
Written by: Tom Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Madi Yanofsky
The fierce mother of three might be in a healthy relationship with former NFL wide receiver husband, Eric Decker. However, she has had her fair share of toxic men that have crossed her back in the day. Therefore, she released a powerful breakup anthem that highlights the beauty of coming out of a relationship. For instance, you can either walk away upset or feel empowered. “I’ve had my heart broken before – we all have, at some point in our lives,” Jessie James Decker shared in a statement. “It doesn’t matter if it’s from a relationship ending or from people trying to tear you down. This song is all about letting that pain break you and coming out of it on the other side strong and confident. Anyone who broke your heart will regret it most when your SHINE!”
“That Ain’t Me No More” – Matt Stell
Written by: Hunter Phelps, Jake Mitchell, Hardy, Nick Donley, and Smith Ahnquist
Matt Stell has been making power moves within the country music scene, as he surprised fans with a new breakup song on The Bobby Bones Show back in February, right before Valentine’s Day. Throughout the single, fans hear Stell reflecting on his past relationship and sharing how he has changed as a man. The beautiful ballad that exhibits his personal growth was penned by HARDY, Hunter Phelps, Jack Mitchell, Nick Donley, and Smith Ahnquist.
“Truth About You”– Mitchell Tenpenny
Written by: Mitchell Tenpenny, Matt Alderman, and Thomas Archer
River House/ Columbia Nashville artist Mitchell Tenpenny received his largest streaming debut of his career with “Truth About You.” The breakup ballad took off on TikTok, raking in over 2.5 million views and over one million on YouTube. The artist recently professed that the hit is about his ex to Taste of Country. Before spilling the tea – fans thought it was about experiences his friends have gone through in relationships. Throughout the emotional hit, he shares that there are always two sides of the story [breakup]: one is a lie, and the other is the truth. “It was just one of those songs. When I heard the title…I was like, I know how to write this song. I’ve lived this song. And it just kinda fell out,” he shared with the publication.
“Villain” – Lily Rose
Written by: Lily Rose, Kyle Clark, and Mackenzie Carpenter
Country music budding songstress received her big break in 2020 on the powerful social media platform, TikTok. With the release of her debut single “Villain,” she garnered a loyal fan base on the platform and even scored a record deal. The dark, but relatable single is about getting painted as the villain after a messy breakup. Lily Rose was a year removed from a sudden breakup when she brought the strong song title to Kyle Clark and Mackenzie Carpenter. The robust anthem is now on her debut project, Stronger Than I Am.
“What He Didn’t Do” – Carly Pearce
Written by: Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, and Ashley Gorley
CMA Female Vocalist of The Year, Carly Pearce had a rough few months after her public divorce. However, in true singer/songwriter fashion, the multi-platinum artist put pen to paper to express her rollercoaster-like emotions. During that time of heartbreak and despair, she created “What He Didn’t Do,” a breakup ballad that makes an appearance on her stellar album, 29:Written In Stone. The song is a standout among the project and continues to be one of the most-streamed songs on the project.
Are you ready to cast your vote for Favorite Breakup Song? If so, head to countrynow.com/vote and pick your go-to track that you will play at your next bash. Country Now readers have until November 30 to make their selection.