Singer Carolyn Miller is just hoping to do Jennifer Nettles proud with this cover of "Stay," a career-defining hit for country duo Sugarland in 2007. The moving acoustic performance — premiering exclusively on Taste of County — was filmed live in a single take.

The goal, Miller tells Taste of Country, was to keep the moment as raw and authentic as possible. This energy is what's helped her build her fanbase in 2021 — a year that began amid the height of the pandemic. The New York born-and-raised singer found a way to thrive through it all.

"During the height of the pandemic," she says, "I turned to livestreaming in order to continue bringing music and concerts to my fans during such a dark time. Each week, I would change up the theme, take requests, and this song was by far and away the most requested cover I received. I finally decided to learn it, and it has become one of my favorites to perform."

"Flatline" and "Strangers in This Bar" are two songs Miller released in 2021, but "When I Say I Do Today" defined her year early on, when a video of her telling the story of the song went viral on TikTok. She wrote the song for her now-husband on the day they married. It helped boosted her socials from 30K total to over 90K.

Livestreamed shows continued into the summer, but festivals like Carolina Country Music Fest and dates with Lee Brice and more put her on real stages this year. Look for more of that in 2021, and maybe more cover songs in addition to her original music.

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 staff@tasteofcountry.com.