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.
“Beer Beer, Truck Truck” – George Birge
Written by: George Birge and Erynn Chambers
When George Birge joined TikTok, he imminently received attention for his clever track, “Beer Beer, Truck Truck.” The inspiration behind the song came from influencer @rynnstar after she poked fun at country stars and their lifestyle. In a short video, she was singing about how country music is nothing but beer and trucks. Therefore, the Nashville newcomer found this idea hilarious and ran with it to show the TikTok sensation that a talented songwriter can turn a ridiculous concept into a masterpiece. Overnight, Birge gained 30K new followers and received over 3 million views. Today, Erynn Chambers is included in the songwriting credits for sparking the idea of the viral concept.
“Fancy Like” – Walker Hayes
Written by: Walker Hayes, Cameron Bartolini, Josh Jenkins, and Shane Stevens
You can’t press play on the radio without hearing the viral hit, “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes. Following the release, the up-tempo date night anthem became Hayes’s first No.1 single after topping the Billboard Country Airplay chart in November of 2021. However, the smash hit spent more than 17 weeks on the very top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and scored No.3 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. The buzz-worthy track that was penned by Hayes alongside Cameron Bartolini, Josh Jenkins, and Shane Stevens dropped back in June, but he did not go viral on TikTok until he showed off his swoon-worthy dance moves with 15-year-old daughter Lela. The original dance raked in over 32 million views, scored him a partnership with Applebees, and captured the attention of people worldwide.
“I’m A Survivor” – Reba
Written by: Shelby Kennedy and Philip White
The queen of country music, Reba McEntire, is no stranger to the limelight, as she has had several chart-topping hits throughout her career. However, she reached a new form of success when her 2001 country-pop anthem went viral on TikTok. The song that praises hardworking single mothers quickly became a hot TikTok trend, and the legend even jumped on the bandwagon herself. “Somebody stared it, just doing things a home and looking at the camera and singing: ‘I’m a Survivor.’ It just started out so simple, and It’s really caught on,” shared the icon exclusively to Variety.
@reba When it’s time to feed your donkeys and they’re not the least bit impressed #ImASurvivor #Donkeys #FarmLife #Reba #CountryGirl ♬ I’m A Survivor – Reba McEntire
“Just The Way” – Parmalee, Blanco Brown
Written by: Matt Thomas, Kevin Bard, and Nolan Sipe
When Parmalee and Blanco Brown joined forces to create “Just The Way,” country music fans knew it would reach maximum success. The party-like anthem, which boasts an important message, hit No.1 on the Billboard and Mediabase Country radio charts in both the United States and Canada. “Just The Way” serves as Parmalee’s second No.1 after their hit “Carolina” became PLATINUM-certified. “Having ‘Just The Way’ go. No.1 is amazing!” shared Blanco Brown on their official website. “As an artist or writer, all you can hope for is that your music connects with people and make them feel something. We’re proud to be a part of something that has been able to spread positivity throughout the world, especially over the past year.”
“Neon Moon” Brooks & Dunn
Written by: Ronnie Dunn
Leave it to TikTok to make ’90s smash hit cool again! Brooks & Dunn’s 1992 track off of their debut album, Brand New Man, recently went viral on the powerful platform. Social media users nationwide and even some of Nashville’s biggest stars did not hesitate to kick on their cowboy boots to show off their best western ensembles and dance moves.
@brooksanddunn It’s crazy cool to see all your videos, keep ‘em coming ! #brooksanddunn #sungoesdown #neonmoon #neonmoonremix #countrymusic ♬ Neon Moon – DJ Noiz
“Payin’ For It” Levi Hummon feat. Walker Hayes
Written by: Levi Hummon, Walker Hayes, and Eric Arjes
Country music star Levi Hummon has received a taste of what going viral feels like with his smash hit “Payin’ For It” featuring Walker Hayes. The breakup ballad highlighting the aftermath of moving on and dealing with an ex, marks his first collaboration with the hitmaker. “I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and this is the first song we ever wrote together. I brought in the title, and he did his Walker thing to it. I think this song is really special,” he shared in a statement.
“Redneck Be Like” Thomas Rhett
Written by: Thomas Rhett, Parker Welling, Jordan Reynolds, Josh Miller, and Rhett Akins
Country music star Thomas Rhett took to social media in August to show off his honky-tonk dance moves. The award-winning artist shared a choreographed TikTok dance to the rowdy track, “Redneck Be Like.” Rhett created quite the production, as he called in some of his closest friends to learn the steps to his minute-long routine. The clip that gives off good time vibes raked in thousands of views since its release on TikTok.
“Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” Danielle Bradbery
Written by: Josh Kear, Hillary Lindsey, and Gordie Sampson
Following the release of her beautiful ballads, “Girls In My Hometown” and “Never Have I Ever,” the Texas native showed a new and fierce side with her up-tempo banger, “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots.” The country-pop track by The Voice alum Danielle Bradbery quickly made waves on the internet, and several music fans came out of the woodworks to showcase their honky-tonk dance moves. “This song is a fiery anthem for every girl that’s ever felt strung along by a guy,” shared Bradbery in a press release. “The bold lyrics and sassy beat really pulled me in and reminded me of that fun, Shania Twain, ‘90’s country/pop vibes that I’m pumped to channel into my music.”
Are you ready to cast your vote for Favorite Viral Song? If so, head to countrynow.com/vote and pick your go-to track that you will test out on TikTok . Country Now readers have until November 30 to make their selection.