ACM Spotlight Series: Single Record of the Year

Our ACM Spotlight Series is featuring the Single Record of the Year category. As with the Song of the Year spotlight, we will only be looking back at the last ten years of winners and nominees, starting with this year’s nominees.
What makes the Single Record of the Year category different than the Song of the Year category is it usually rewards the songs that have had the most success and impact on the charts. Some of the decade’s biggest hits have been nominated, and won, the award. Here are the past ten years of nominees and winners.

2009

  • “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Red Light” – David Nail
  • “Toes” – Zac Brown Band
  • “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert

Four of this year’s nominated songs have hit number one while the fifth was a top ten hit. It’s a bit of surprise to see David Nail’s debut single be nominated over other chart topping singles of the year, but the other four have been among the most played songs on country radio over the past year. It’ll be interesting to see if the Academy will pay attention to the five week run at nunber one that “Need You Now” enjoyed.

2008

  • “Gunpowder & Lead” – Miranda Lambert
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson
  • “Johnny and June” – Heidi Newfield
  • “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins
  • “Waitin’ On a Woman” – Brad Paisley

The emotional song by Trace Adkins pulled off the upset by beating favorites by Jamey Johnson (who took home Song of the Year) and Miranda Lambert.

2007

  • “Don’t Blink” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Famous in a Small Town” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Lost in this Morning” – Big & Rich
  • “Stay” – Sugarland
  • “Watching Airplanes” – Gary Allan

In a lineup a fairly mediocre lineup, the brilliant song by Sugarland took home both the Single and Song awards, making Sugarland one of country’s brightest stars.

2006

  • “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Give It Away” – George Strait
  • “I Loved Her First” – Heartland
  • “Watching You” – Rodney Atkins
  • “Would You Go With Me” – Josh Turner

Going into the 2007 ceremony, “Before He Cheats” was expected to win this award but it was George Strait’s “Give It Away” that pulled off the shocking upset. Strait also walked away with the Song of the Year award that night.

2005

  • “Alcohol” – Brad Paisley
  • “Baby Girl” – Sugarland
  • “Believe” – Brooks & Dunn
  • “Best I Ever Had” – Gary Allan
  • “Jesus, Take the Wheel” – Carrie Underwood

Much like the Song of the Year category, 2005 was the year of religious songs with hits like “Believe” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” This year, Carrie Underwood’s number one song took home the award, becoming her first ACM award win of her career.

2004

  • “Bless the Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts
  • “Days Go By” – Keith Urban
  • “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” – Lee Ann Womack
  • “Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim McGraw
  • “Redneck Woman” – Gretchen Wilson

Sometimes the Academy likes to choose songs based on the quality rather than the chart success. This year, they chose Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” over smash hits “Redneck Woman” and “Days Go By.” It was a great choice but the Lee Ann Womack song was a better song quality-wise.

2003

  • “American Soldier” – Toby Keith
  • “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” – Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet
  • “Red Dirt Road” – Brooks & Dunn
  • “Remember When” – Alan Jackson
  • “Three Wooden Crosses” – Randy Travis

The ACM’s voted the Randy Travis song as 2003’s Song of the Year but failed to acknowledge it as the year’s Single of the Year. Instead, they chose the smash hit by Jackson and Buffet for the win.

2002

  • “19 Somethin'” – Mark Wills
  • “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” – Toby Keith
  • “Good Stuff” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Just What I Do” – Trick Pony
  • “Somebody Like You” – Keith Urban

Trick Pony was a surprise nominee in this category, but it was Kenny Chesney who stole the win from Toby Keith and Keith Urban with his hit “Good Stuff.” It was Chesney’s first ACM win since he took home the Top New Male Vocalist award back in 1997.

2001

  • “Ain’t Nothing About You” – Brooks & Dunn
  • “I Wanna Talk About Me” – Toby Keith
  • “It’s A Great Day to be Alive” – Travis Tritt
  • “One More Day” – Diamond Rio
  • “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” – Alan Jackson

It was extremely clear that Alan Jackson’s emotional song about the 9/11 terrorist attacks would claim victory during the 2002 ceremony. The song also took home the Song of the Year award.

2000

  • “How Do You Like Me Now?!” – Toby Keith
  • “I Hope You Dance” – Lee Ann Womack
  • “Kiss This” – Aaron Tippin
  • “The Little Girl” – John Michael Montgomery
  • “There Is No Arizona” – Jamie O’Neal

It was one of the most heard songs of 2000 and was the clear favorite to win both the Single and Song of the Year awards which it did. The year 2000 turned out to be the year of Lee Ann Womack and the smash hit, “I Hope You Dance.”

1999
“Amazed” – Lonestar
“He Didn’t Have to Be” – Brad Paisley
“Please Remember Me” – Tim McGraw
“Ready to Run” – Dixie Chicks
“Write This Down” – George Strait
The multi-genre smash hit by Lonestar swept both the Single and Song of the Year awards during the 2000 awards show, beating favorites by Dixie Chicks and Brad Paisley.

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