Several of these forgotten 2000s country songs are needed today more than ever.

It was a less divisive time in country music and even though we bickered about what is and isn't "real country" the assaults were less personal. Politics didn't get in the way of enjoying good country music until late in the decade but even that song — No. 35 on our list — hits different 15 years later.

These forgotten songs come from forgotten artists in some cases. When was the last time you thought about Tommy Shane Steiner or Steve Holy? Have you kept up with the goings on of Emerson Drive, a Canadian country group who dropped a ballad off at radio in 2006 that will simply plow through your emotions in 2024.

Related: 50 Best Country Songs of the 2000s

This list does include a few A-list hitmakers. Miranda Lambert's debut single was much sweeter than anything she'd become famous for and Alan Jackson's attempt to turn technology into something heartwarming plays back as somewhere between charming and clumsy all these years later.

Every song on the list below includes a link to listen. Be careful when listening to John Michael Montgomery's addition as his third verse is still a tear-jerker for parents. Grab a cold beer to listen to our chosen Josh Thompson song.

Call your lover over to spin Jeff Bates big 2000s radio hit. "Long, Slow Kisses" still burns all these years later. This list was inspired by our friends at Ultimate Classic Rock and their list of forgotten first albums.

Billy Dukes is a Senior Editor and Executive Producer of Video Content at Taste of Country. He specializes in country music interviews, trend analysis and the Secret History of Country Music. Additionally, Billy covers Yellowstone, 1923 and related television shows through the Dutton Rules podcast. To date, he's written more than 13,000 articles for Taste of Country and produced over 3,000 videos for the Taste of Country YouTube channel.

Forgotten 2000s Country Songs: 40 Great Country Hits, 2000-2009

Hitmakers like Miranda Lambert and Alan Jackson and one-hit wonders like James Otto and Sherrié Austin contribute hits to this list of forgotten 2000s country songs.

Enjoy 40 of the best songs from 2000 to 2009. Each one came and went like a tornado. Most deserve a little more respect 15, 20 or 25 years later.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

Essential 2000s Country Songs: 50 Best From 2000-2019

Country music sure did get a lot brighter in the 2000s, but not every song on this list of the best and most essential hits replaces banjo with beatbox. There are some all-time fine 2000s songs from timeless artists like Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and more.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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