2021 was a year to remember for Ryan Hurd. After years of writing, he became the star of his hit “Chasing After You” with his wife, Maren Morris. Their first duet peaked at number two on the Country Airplay chart, is certified platinum, and awaiting an award after its 2022 Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Hurd has made a name for himself following his hit lead single “To a T” after reaching number one on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown. Yet, you may know Hurd’s work best from some of your other favorite hits. In celebration of Hurd’s most recent Grammy nomination, here are five songs you may not have known were written by Ryan Hurd for other artists.
1. “Heartless” by Diplo, Thomas Wesley ft. Morgan Wallen and Julia Michaels (2020)
This large collaboration earned platinum standing in June 2020 for two million units in sales and streams, followed by peaking at number ten on the US Hot Country Billboard Chart. Not only were the artists on this track expansive, but so were all the writers, including Ernest Keith Smith, who recently released “Flower Shops.” Although this was Diplo’s first dip into country music, with the guidance of writers like Hurd, it was a guaranteed hit.
2. “Lonely Tonight” by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe (2014)
The dark love song, “Lonely Tonight,” was Shelton’s 14th consecutive number one hit on Country Airplay Chart. This second single from Shelton’s chart-topping LP BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE is also the second duet with Ashley Monroe, 1/3 of the Pistol Annies.
3. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” by Luke Bryan (2017)
Ryan Hurd co-wrote this song with Chase McGill, who co-wrote multiple songs on Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous, and Zach Crowell, who has worked with Shane McAnally — it was destined this song would be a hit. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” remained at the top of Country Airplay for 16 weeks.
4. “What If I Never Get Over You” by Lady A (2019)
This lead single from Lady A’s album Ocean was the band’s first number-one single on Country Airplay since their chart-topper “Bartender” (2014) and earned a nomination for the 2019 ACM single of the year.
5. “Circle Around This Town” by Maren Morris (2022)
There is something special about this couple. Maren and Ryan met during a writing session for the track “Last Turn Home” for Tim McGraw in 2013. A year later, the couple began dating with apparent sparks when they collaborated in the detailed love story “Love in a Bar” (2017). It has just been over a month since the release of Maren’s newest single and it has become her highest-charting debut to date in the Top 30 of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
After years of uber-successful songwriting and two number-one singles, Hurd continues to write his own music that is much more stripped back and acoustic in sound. Hurd is an accurate and honorable representation of the spectrum of country music, from working with Diplo to his acoustic hits.
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