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There are many factors involved in creating a hit song. Two of the main ones are good songwriting and a powerful vocal performance. When those two elements combine, a big hit is guaranteed.
Certain artists’ names become so attached to their big hits, that it’s hard to imagine anyone else singing them. But as it turns out, some of the biggest hits in country music history were originally considered by different artists than the ones who eventually recorded the tunes.
Imagine one of today’s rising stars singing what was a big hit for Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins. Or just think of what it would have been like if someone other than Luke Bryan sang “Drink a Beer.” You’re going to learn about the artists who originally considered those songs and six others when you scroll through this list.
Released in 1971, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” was a major chart hit and eventually became John Denver‘s signature song. The state anthem of West Virginia and one of the main sampled songs in the “Forever Country” mashup,”Take Me Home, Country Roads” is as iconic as it gets.
But Denver wasn’t the intended artist for the song. Originally, the songwriters Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert were shopping the song to Johnny Cash with the hopes that “The Man in Black” would record it.
Once Denver heard the song, he knew he had to have it for himself. He convinced Danoff and Nivert to hold off on selling it to Cash. The three worked together to rewrite the song to fit Denver’s taste, and Denver debuted his version during a live performance a few days later. The rest, as they say it, is history.
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