7 Country Music Moments That Made Us Love Country Music Even More in 2016

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As we near the end of 2016, it’s only fitting that One Country shares a few of those classic, end of the year lists. Like you, we are kind of bored with the typical end of the year lists, so we’re putting our own spin on a few!

This year was full of, well, everything– we lost Merle Haggard, Beyonce appeared at the CMA Awards, and Garth Brooks won Entertainer of the Year. You name it and it happened. Through each of these moments, sad or joyful, we fell more and more in love with country music this year. But, yes, a few captured our hearts and attention a little more than others.

7 Country Music Moments That Made Us Love Country Music Even More in 2016:

1. “Forever Country”
The “Forever Country” video was hands down the most magical thing to happen to country music this year and just about any year before it. Thirty artists, three songs and one incredible video. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

2. George Strait at Gruene Hall
I was lucky enough to be apart of the small crowd for George Strait’s first show at Gruene Hall in 34 years. I’ve never experienced anything like it. They call him The King for a reason and seeing him live at such a small, iconic venue made me love him and country music a lot.

3. Carrie Underwood’s Drum Solo
This was Carrie Underwood’s year from start to finish, but her performance of “Church Bells” during the ACM Awards was one of her best live performances of all-time. She commanded the stage and stole the show. I will be talking about this drum solo for years to come. What’s not to love about it?

4. Sharing the Stage With Dierks Bentley
Sometimes, you get to go to a Dierks Bentley show and sometimes, Dierks invites you out on stage. Even fewer times, Dierks takes your selfie stick and takes a video of himself. Dierks’ show was energetic, fun and just plain entertaining. I was a Dierks fan before, but probably became a lifer after getting to sing on stage with him.

5. Eric Church’s Cover of “Hallelujah”
Don’t get me wrong, 2016 featured several amazing performances from Eric Church singing his own stuff, but his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” stopped me in my tracks more than once.

6. Lori McKenna Winning Song of the Year (Again)
Lori McKenna is not only an incredible songwriter, she’s the living embodiment of being “Humble and Kind.” With her win for CMA Song of the Year this year, she became the first female to ever win back-to-back Song of the Year trophies. She’s the first solo writer to win since 2011 and the first repeat winner since Vince Gill did it in 1991 and 1992. McKenna is the ultimate success story and someone you can’t help but love and cheer on. On top of that, she released a top notch solo album, The Bird and the Rifle, that’ll also make you love country music.

7. Brad Paisley’s Tribute to Randy Travis

Few people love and respect country music and those who came before him like Brad Paisley, so it was only fitting that he help pay tribute to Randy Travis during the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Paisley’s performance of “Forever and Ever, Amen” was reverent, touching and good.