Over a decade ago, Chris Young was declared the winner of Season Four of USA’s Nashville Star. As part of his package, he won a contract with RCA Records. However, success was not instant for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee native. His first three singles missed the Top-30 on the charts, but success proved just around the corner — thanks to an infamous black dress that the singer sang about to number one perfection in 2009.
Since then, the singer has steadily built one of the most successful careers in the genre with only one single falling short of the Top-10 in the past eight years. Here’s our look at some of the best Chris Young songs in his catalog, showing just what a special and unique artist he has become — one mindful of the legends like Randy Travis and Keith Whitley, yet also forging his own distinct musical path.
Best Songs: Alabama | Alan Jackson | Blake Shelton | Brad Paisley | Carrie Underwood | Chris Stapleton | Dierks Bentley | Dolly Parton | Eric Church | George Jones | George Strait | Jason Aldean | Johnny Cash | John Denver | Keith Urban | Kenny Chesney | Kenny Rogers | Lady Antebellum | Miranda Lambert | Rascal Flatts | Reba McEntire | Shania Twain | Tim McGraw | Toby Keith | Willie Nelson | Zac Brown Band
10. Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over”
This emotional song of longing helped Young grow his reputation as one of the most dependable balladeers in the country music industry. One of six million-selling singles for the singer, Young turned in a warm and inviting performance on the track, which was all over the Country Radio airwaves in the summer months of 2015. It also peaked at No. 33 on the Hot 100, tying his previous high with the Country chart-topper “Getting’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).”
9. Chris Young – “Tomorrow”
Young brought the right amount of emotion to this 2011 single about a man who knew what the future looked like, but instead was choosing to put off the inevitable break which he knew would be for the best. Frank Myers, one of the writers on the song, definitely knew his way around a hit song — having written the classic love song “I Swear.”
8. Chris Young – “Sober Saturday Night (with Vince Gill)”
The most recent number one Chris Young song was definitely a little personal for the singer — and that nothing do with the lyrics. One of the first concerts the singer saw while growing up in Middle Tennessee was the legendary Vince Gill. So, seeing his hero’s name next to him as a credited vocalist on this traditional-based ballad had to make Young smile just a little bit.
7. Chris Young – “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)”
After radio ignored his first album, Young was in search of a song that nobody could deny. This track — written by the singer, Cory Batten, and Kent Blazy — proved to be just the perfect formula for the singer to gain his first number one hit in the spring of 2009. It was a somewhat suggestive song that would made Conway Twitty nod with approval — and likely inspired many women in black dresses to be in attendance among his growing crowds in concert.
6. Chris Young – “Think Of You (with Cassadee Pope)”
Just because you’ve ended the relationship doesn’t exactly mean that it’s over. Both Young and Pope brought a heartfelt reality to the period of adjustment that we all have once the break-up has happened. The two sounded irresistible together — and we think that collaboration will likely happen at some point again in the future (or at least,we hope so).
5. Chris Young – “You”
This song from the Young pen (along with Luke Laird) drew a little bit of ire from critics, as some thought the straight-forward song was just a little bit too simple and direct. But, what’s that old saying about a straight line between two points? This Chris Young song helped him to continue his ascent, becoming his fifth consecutive number one in the process.
4. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes”
By 2014, it was obvious that Young had borrowed a page from the playbook of such artists as Conway Twitty or Kenny Rogers — Record music that every man wants to be able to say to his significant other, but for whatever reason, can’t. Young has worked that formula to perfection, particularly with this dramatic melody, which captivated listeners in the fall of that year.
3. Chris Young – “Neon”
One of the most traditional songs in Young’s catalog, this song earned points for its’ cleverness. It seems that every song that references an artist from the past mentions Haggard, Jones, or Strait — but how many people name-check Johnny Lee? That gives Young a few points for extra credit, but that aside, this ranks as one of his most special performances.
2. Chris Young – “Voices”
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Seemingly, that was the motto of Young and RCA Records with this Chris Young song from his own pen — along with Craig Wiseman and Chris Tompkins. Upon its’ original release, the song only made it to No. 37 on the Country Singles chart. However, Young noticed that the song had become a favorite of his fans, and remained convinced of its’ potential. So, after topping the charts twice in a row, the label decided to roll the dice and re-release the tune. This time, the song made it well past No. 37 — becoming his third straight chart-topper.
1. Chris Young – “The Man I Want To Be”
Brett James and Tim Nichols provided Young with some very meaty lyrics to sink his teeth into in 2009 — about a man who realizes that he has made too many errors in his life, and wants a chance to try to get it right — and hopefully get a second chance with a lost love. Whether he gets that chance is a question that will be forever subject to conjecture, but his vocal hit the listener right between the eyes — and the heart.