The track, written by Linda Hargrove and Dean Dillon, has been named country music’s most listened-to song released prior to the past year in the NMPA Gold & Platinum Program. This honors the songwriters of singles certified by trade body the RIAA as gold, platinum and multi-platinum, and Stapleton’s track is among the newly-announced top country songs and songwriters for the past year.
“Tennessee Whiskey” was first recorded by David Allan Coe for his 1981 album of the same name, and then by George Jones, who took it to No.2 on the country chart in 1983. Stapleton’s version was certified six-times multi-platinum and by earlier this year was approaching two million US digital sales.
After the song’s new popularity via the Traveller album, it has been recorded by numerous other aritsts including Deana Martin, daughter of Dean, and by the group Straight No Chaser, in a trademark acappella rendition for their 2019 Open Bar EP.
The program’s Platinum Anthem for the past year, based on streams and sales, was Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ smash hit “Old Town Road.” Prolific hitmaker Ashley Gorley was named Top Songwriter, for hits that generated an incredible 10 multi-platinum, 15 platinum and 13 gold certifications. They included Thomas Rhett’s “Life Changes,” “T-Shirt” and “Marry Me,” all three of them country airplay No.1s, as was Jon Pardi’s “Dirt on My Boots.”
Gorley’s catalog of contributory hits also included Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night,” which went to No.1 on Hot Country Songs and No.2 on Country Airplay; the same artist’s “Games,” Lanco’s “Born to Love You,” and another airplay chart-topper, Dierks Bentley’s “Living.”
“Tennessee Whiskey” is on Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, which can be bought here.