Saddle Up With The Best Country Song Nominations | 2022 GRAMMYs


Saddle Up With The Best Country Song Nominations | 2022 GRAMMYs

In a year of hardships, country stars Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Walker Hayes, and Mickey Guyton offered light in the darkness. Here are the nominations for Best Country Song at the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards.

GRAMMYs/Nov 27, 2021 - 11:09 pm

Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, <a href=" """>has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.

There's no denying that the social ills that came out of 2020 and 2021 had a profound impact on society as a whole. While the world wrestled with the COVID-19 pandemic, a reckoning over racial injustice swept America and spread worldwide.

These themes popped up in country music's biggest hits and most important songs of that time, in the form of escapist humor and head-on collisions, with the pervading feelings of weariness and weight. Compelling art often comes under trying circumstances, and the turmoil of the past 18 months inspired country artists to examine themselves and their communities in song.

Below, take a closer look at the nominations for Best Country Song at the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show. Tune in Sunday, April 3, on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+ to find out who'll take home GRAMMY gold.

"Better Than We Found It" — Maren Morris

Jessie Jo Dillon, Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Maren Morris)

Maren Morris co-wrote this protest song during the summer of 2020, when cities across America and around the world erupted in protests following the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Released in October 2020, "Better Than We Found It" ponders how Morris' generation can overcome the political division plaguing America and set a positive example for their children. "Will we sit on our hands, do nothin' about it?/ Or will we leave this world better than we found it?," Morris poses in the song's chorus.

The outspoken GRAMMY-winner was unabashed in her lyrical questioning ("When thе wolf's at the door all covered in bluе/ Shouldn't we try somethin' new?/ We're over a barrel, and at the end of one too," she offers in the song's second verse), which comes to a head during the poignant bridge: "America, America/ Divided we fall/ America, America/ God save us all."

Read More: Meet This Year's Song Of The Year Nominees | 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

"Camera Roll" — Kacey Musgraves

Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian, songwriters

While Kacey Musgraves' 2018 album Golden Hour — which won Album of the Year and Best Country Album at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards — chronicled the happier times of her marriage to singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, her latest release, star-crossed, catalogs the unraveling that led to their 2020 divorce. And "Camera Roll" is the song where the tidal wave of conflicting emotions finally crashes.

Inspired by scrolling through images on her phone, the lyrics caution against believing that the photos we save tell the true story of our lives — when in fact, they give a distorted view that obscures the weight hiding behind them.

"Chronological order and nothing but torture/ Scroll too far back, that's what you get," Musgraves sings on the chorus of the melancholy track.

She reaches a place of appreciation for those photos by the song's end, thanking her ex for the good memories they documented throughout their relationship. And as much as the pics may taunt her, she admits, "I'll never erase 'em."

Read More: Kacey Musgraves' Road To Star-Crossed: How The Breakup Album Fits Right Into Her Glowing Catalog

"Cold" — Chris Stapleton

Dave Cobb, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon & Chris Stapleton, songwriters

Though "Cold" wasn't the highest-performing single from Chris Stapleton's fourth solo album, Starting Over, the slow-burning tune is an album standout thanks to its pleading chorus hook and brick-house songwriting.

For a man who's happily married (to his onstage partner, Morgane) with five kids, Stapleton masterfully encapsulated the bitterness of a jilted lover. "What am I supposed to say/ If anybody asks me about you?/ I guess I'll tell 'em I'm without you," he laments in the song's second verse.

Stapleton delivers a raw vocal performance in his trademark blue-collar, blue-eyed soul croon. Following a masterful intro piano riff from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers co-founder Benmont Tench, Stapleton builds the song up, then a string section takes it even higher — making the pain of "Cold," as the singer sings it himself, cut like a knife.

Read More: Meet This Year's Album Of The Year Nominees | 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

"Country Again" — Thomas Rhett

Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley & Thomas Rhett, songwriters

In the time wrought by tragedy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many sought silver linings as they were forced to put their usual life on pause. Thomas Rhett used the downtime to take stock of what being a country-music hitmaker meant to his life and relationships.

The opening line of "Country Again" — "I quit huntin' with my daddy, guess I didn't make the time" — illustrates the regrets of a life lived on the road. Later in the song, he reflects, "I traded sunsets with my wife, for hours on my phone/ And even when I was right beside her, I still wasn't really home."

But the song doesn't wallow in self-pity. Instead, it's a call to make up for lost time by rediscovering the passions and relationships that make us human. For Rhett, that meant getting back to his rural American roots.

It was a sentiment that clearly connected: "Country Again" became Rhett's 17th No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

Read More: ​​Meet This Year's Best New Artist Nominees | 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

"Fancy Like" — Walker Hayes

Cameron Bartolini, Walker Hayes, Josh Jenkins & Shane Stevens, songwriters (Walker Hayes)

Walker Hayes had been dropped from two record deals by the time he stopped writing songs for radio and just started telling stories from his own life. One of those songs, "Fancy Like," became a runaway hit, thanks to dance moves choreographed by his 15-year-old daughter Lila that made the song a TikTok sensation.

The lyrics are just as fun as the dance, with Hayes cheekily depicting his kind of fancy — you know, Wendys and boxed wine kind of fancy — and how that works perfectly fine for his girl. "Take her to Wendy's, can't keep her off me/ She wanna dip me like them fries in her Frosty," he quips along to the rolling melody.

On the way to becoming a double-Platinum success, the Applebee's restaurant chain used the song, which name-checks some of its popular menu items, in a television commercial. "Fancy Like" went on to top the country charts and nearly the Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 3 this summer.

Read More: Mickey Guyton On Her 10-Year Journey To Debut Album Remember Her Name & Paving The Way For Black Women In Country

"Remember Her Name" — Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton, Blake Hubbard, Jarrod Ingram & Parker Welling, songwriters

Mickey Guyton's determination and perseverance as an artist is the driving force behind "Remember Her Name," an empowering anthem written to remind herself of her own internal fire.

The song was inspired by the trials she faced while working her way through the ranks from her debut single in 2015 to finally releasing her debut album after years spent in Nashville record-label limbo. (In fact, Guyton approached the record as if the songs would never be heard.)

"When did you lose the girl with no fear? Oh, she never left," she sings. And when the chorus is about to hit its climax, the singer declares, "Remembеr the girl that didn't let anything get in her way/ Remember her name."

The title "Remember Her Name," which is also the name of the album, is a tribute to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman shot and killed by police in Louisville, Ken., in March 2020.

2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominations List

Watch: Chris Stapleton Performs A Gutsy, Heartfelt Version Of The National Anthem At Super Bowl LVII
Chris Stapleton performing at Super Bowl LVII

Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


Watch: Chris Stapleton Performs A Gutsy, Heartfelt Version Of The National Anthem At Super Bowl LVII

Just before Super Bowl LVII kicked off, Chris Stapleton left the State Farm Stadium crowd in awe with his version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2023 - 12:07 am

Chris Stapleton had the honor of performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" ahead of Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Taking to the field without his signature cowboy hat, the country star transformed the national anthem into a bluesy scorcher, accompanying himself on electric guitar as he growled, "Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light/ What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming/ Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight/ O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?" 

For the song, Stapleton was joined by Oscar winner Troy Kotsur, who translated the lyrics into American Sign Language.

Last year, Mickey Guyton was tasked with the patriotic pregame moment backed by a gospel choir, while Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan teamed up in 2021 to perform the anthem as a duet that was equal parts country and R&B. Other stars who've had the responsibility of singing the song at the Super Bowl in recent years include everyone from Demi Lovato, Gladys Knight and P!nk to Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga and Idina Menzel.

Whitney Houston's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at 1991's Super Bowl XXV is arguably the gold standard when it comes to Super Bowl anthems. At the time, the late icon's recording was released as a standalone single that reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. A decade later, it was reissued in the wake of Sept. 11 and became the final top 10 hit of Houston's life when it peaked even higher at No. 6.

Meanwhile, Stapleton's version of the song comes just one week after he hit the stage at the 2023 GRAMMYs to pay riveting tribute to Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson with a medley of Motown hits alongside Stevie Wonder, WanMor and Robinson himself.

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Stevie Wonder Is Bringing A Special Performance With Smokey Robinson & Chris Stapleton To The 2023 GRAMMYs
(L-R) Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Chris Stapleton

Photos courtesy of the Recording Academy


Stevie Wonder Is Bringing A Special Performance With Smokey Robinson & Chris Stapleton To The 2023 GRAMMYs

The 2023 GRAMMYs will feature a special performance by Stevie Wonder, where he will perform three classic tunes, including two duets with fellow Motown legend Smokey Robinson and country star Chris Stapleton.

GRAMMYs/Feb 3, 2023 - 07:09 pm

Stevie Wonder isn't just a 25-time GRAMMY winner; he's one of the most beloved talents in American music. And on Music's Biggest Night, it's the Recording Academy's honor to broadcast a special performance by the titanic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, viewers will behold a broadcast of Wonder singing three classic hits, starting with the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do," featuring the R&B vocal group WanMore.

Next, Wonder will perform Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" with Robinson himself — one of MusiCares' two Persons Of The Year for 2023, the other being Motown founder Berry Gordy.

Wonder will finish off this special performance — drawn from the 2023 MusiCares Persons Of The Year Gala — with his hit "Higher Ground," from his classic 1973 album Innervisions.

Joining him will be country singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton — an eight-time GRAMMY winner in his own right, who's nominated this year for Best Country Song for co-writing Willie Nelson's "I'll Love You Till The Day I Die," from 2022's A Beautiful Time.

The 2023 GRAMMYs air Sunday, Feb. 5, from Los Angeles' Arena, and it will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET / 5-8:30 p.m. PT. Be sure to log into for the full experience.

Don't miss what's sure to be a transfixing performance by an American musical giant and two of his fellow greats!

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

2023 GRAMMYs To Pay Tribute To Lost Icons With Star-Studded In Memoriam Segment Honoring Loretta Lynn, Christine McVie, And Takeoff
(L to R): Takeoff, Christine McVie, and Loretta Lynn

Photos: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images; Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Erika Goldring/WireImage


2023 GRAMMYs To Pay Tribute To Lost Icons With Star-Studded In Memoriam Segment Honoring Loretta Lynn, Christine McVie, And Takeoff

The GRAMMY Awards segment will feature Kacey Musgraves in a tribute to Loretta Lynn; Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt honoring Christine McVie; and Maverick City Music joining Quavo as they remember Takeoff, airing live on Sunday, Feb. 5.

GRAMMYs/Feb 1, 2023 - 04:00 pm

The lineup for the 2023 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb 5, will include an In Memoriam segment paying tribute to some of those from the creative community that were lost this year with performances by GRAMMY-winning and -nominated artists.

The segment will feature Kacey Musgraves performing "Coal Miner's Daughter" in a tribute to three-time GRAMMY winner and 18-time nominee Loretta Lynn; Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt honoring three-time GRAMMY winner Christine McVie with "Songbird"; and Maverick City Music joining Quavo for "Without You" as they remember the life and legacy of Takeoff.

The 2023 GRAMMYs, hosted by Trevor Noah, will broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network live from the Arena in Los Angeles. Viewers will also be able to stream the 2023 GRAMMYs live and on demand on Paramount+.

Before, during and after the 2023 GRAMMYs, head to for exclusive, never-before-seen content, including red carpet interviews, behind-the-scenes content, the full livestream of the 2023 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, and much more.

Where, What Channel & How To Watch The Full 2023 GRAMMYs

Listen: Get Jolly With New Holiday Music From Dolly Parton, Phoebe Bridgers, Pentatonix, Alicia Keys & More
Alicia Keys performs at the 90th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting in November 2022.

Photo: Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty Images


Listen: Get Jolly With New Holiday Music From Dolly Parton, Phoebe Bridgers, Pentatonix, Alicia Keys & More

This year saw several new holiday albums and singles from artists of all genres, from Backstreet Boys to Gloria Estefan. Get in the spirit with this festive 30-song playlist.

GRAMMYs/Dec 16, 2022 - 04:05 pm

As we're all stringing up colorful lights and scrambling to buy last-minute gifts, music shines as the one constant in our lives amid the rush of the holiday season.

Some playlists have been bursting with holiday music since early autumn, with releases such as Dolly Parton's "A Smoky Mountain Christmas" dropping back in August and Joss Stone's Merry Christmas, Love releasing in September. Since then, several more holiday albums arrived, whether they were new projects from artists such as Alicia Keys and Thomas Rhett or polished deluxe editions from the likes of Reba McEntire and Norah Jones.

Beyond releasing albums, many artists have also found their holiday spirit by releasing festive singles. Remi Wolf brings her bubbly personality to warm covers of "Last Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland," Dan + Shay remind us to throw a "Holiday Party" with loved ones, and Phoebe Bridgers shares her annual holiday cover, this year a rendition of the Handsome Family's "So Much Wine." And even stars such as RuPaul, Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Reynolds surprised with holiday singles this season.

Groups such as Pentatonix and Backstreet Boys joined in on the fun with their own cheery holiday albums, and Gloria Estefan and her family capture the joys of love in a snowglobe on Estefan Family Christmas. Collaborations sparkle with holiday magic as well; Ingrid Michaelson and A Great Big World team up for "It's Almost Christmas," and Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande perform "Santa, Can't You Hear Me" in a thrilling live version.

So bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and listen to some new holiday music in this very merry playlist — check it out on Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.