The 25 best country songs of all time (+video)

While it's experienced a recent surge in popularity, country music has been beloved by music lovers all over the US for decades. Fans will debate endlessly what qualifies as "real" country and what makes one singer better than another, but Country Music Television created a list of the Top 100 songs in the country genre. Check out their top 25 picks.

By , Staff Writer

1. 'Stand by Your Man,' by Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette sings 'Stand by Your Man'

Wynette's song was selected as the best country song ever released by CMT. Wynette co-wrote the song and it was first released in 1968 as a single. The song became controversial first with feminists in the 1960s and '70s and later on when Hillary Clinton appeared on "60 Minutes" to discuss Bill Clinton's alleged affair with Gennifer Flowers and stated she wasn't "some little woman standing by her man like Tammy Wynette." Wynette's publicist Evelyn Shriver told NPR that Wynette told her, "It's unbelievable to me that a song that took me 20 minutes to write, I've spent 20 or 30 years defending."

"Whatever doubts one may have about the saccharine-sweet sentimentality or the ladled-on lachrymose content, there’s no doubting Wynette’s remarkable voice and the depth of her technical abilities," BBC writer Sid Smith wrote of the song in 2008 on the 40th anniversary of its release.

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