As rising country star Lainey Wilson and legendary country star Deana Carter stepped onto the stage at the 2021 CMA Awards, it was assumed that the two powerhouses were just there to announce the winner of Single of the Year.

That award eventually went to Chris Stapleton for "Starting Over," but not before a singalong commenced in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

From the stage, Wilson and Carter led an epic singalong of Carter's career-altering single "Strawberry Wine" — which is celebrating its 25th birthday —giving viewers one of the sweetest moments of the night.

As the recognizable chorus began, the camera spanned the crowd, catching stars like Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman enjoying a bit of the sweet melody.

It was a special moment for not only Carter, but for everyone in attendance and everyone watching to celebrate a song that changed the game in 1996. Recently, "Strawberry Wine" got a modern makeover, with Ashley McBryde, Lauren Alaina, Kylie Morgan and Martina McBride lending their voices to a brand-new arrangement. Find that on the 25th anniversary edition of Carter's five-times-Platinum debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?

"These new versions are a way of raising a glass to everyone who loves these songs, and to the country radio stations still playing them, and to say thank you," Carter said in a recent press release. "I hope everyone enjoys celebrating 25 years of Did I Shave My Legs for This? as much as I've enjoyed putting together these very special releases."

Later this month, the song and the album in which it lived will be celebrated once again, as Carter headlines a one-night-only show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on Nov. 18, with special guests Charles Esten and Breland.

"It is such an honor and a career highlight to finally headline the Ryman, our sacred Mother Church, especially being a Nashville native and growing up in the industry, knowing that my dad, Fred Carter, Jr., performed on that stage with so many greats," Carter says. “And all falling within the 25th anniversary re-release of my very first album Did I Shave My Legs for This? on UMG Nashville. It is a ‘pinch-me’ moment now, and it will be on that super special night, too."

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at

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