6 Classic Songs You Had No Idea Were Originally Country Songs



October 15, 2019, 5:21 p.m. | Updated: October 15, 2019, 5:22 PM

All 4 one – I swear.

Photo: Atlantic

Some of pop’s biggest hits originally sounded very different.

We’ve rounded up some classic pop hits that were first recorded by country artists, before being transformed for the mainstream pop market with even greater success:

  1. ‘I swear’

    John Michael Montgomery first recorded this ballad in 1993, topping the country charts in the United States.

    A year later, R&B vocal group All-4-One recorded a cover version, scoring a huge hit. It topped the US chart for 11 weeks and was number two for 7 weeks in the UK (held by Wet Wet Wet’s “Love is All Around”).

    Montgomery and All-4-One have teamed up for a duet version of the latter’s album Twenty+.

  2. ‘If tomorrow never comes’


    Garth Brooks first released this heartfelt ballad in 1989, and it has become one of his signature songs.

    As the song was not widely known in the UK, Ronan Keating recorded a cover version in 2002, taking it to number one in the process.

  3. ‘When you say nothing’

    But it wasn’t the first time Ronan had noticed how useful country music could be in finding a hit.

    Keith Whitley scored a national number one in 1988, before Alison Krauss also had a successful cover in 1995.

    Four years later, Ronan recorded a pop cover for the Notting Hill soundtrack, achieving a UK number one single.

  4. ‘I will Always Love You’


    OK, chances are you already know this one, but we couldn’t not include it in this list!

    Dolly Parton wrote and recorded this country ballad in 1974, and while it was a decently sized hit, she found a runaway hit with a 1992 cover version.

    Whitney Houston recorded her own pop version for the Bodyguard soundtrack, becoming the best-selling single by a woman in music history.

  5. ‘I am already here’

    Lonestar released this song as the title track of their 2001 album, scoring a major country hit in the United States.

    Westlife had noticed the success of his former mentor Ronan Keating and decided he wanted to get in on the action.

    For their 2007 album Back homethe Irish Boys recorded a cover version, although it was not released as a single.

  6. ‘Are you with me’

    Country star Easton Corbin recorded this love song in 2012, although it wasn’t a huge hit at the time.

    Two years later, Belgian DJ Lost Frequencies sampled the track, sped it up and scored a European monster hit.

    In 2015, it also reached number one in the UK, as well as Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Australia and Austria.

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