Prior to releasing "Downtown's Dead," Sam Hunt had written, recorded and released just 20 songs — half have gone gold (two) or platinum (eight) as radio singles. That's a tremendous ratio that complicates choosing the best-ever Sam Hunt songs.

In addition to Hunt's five No. 1 singles (and the one pesky song that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart), he cut four that wound up becoming massive hits for artists like Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Billy Currington and William Michael Morgan. Two of those songs make our list of his top songs. In fact, one is in the Top 3!

Strong sales doesn't always make a great song, and indeed there are album cuts that rank higher than the platinum-sellers on this list. "Raised on It" was a sacrifice to get his career off the ground. The anthem broke Hunt at satellite radio and was as critical to his early success as "We Are Tonight" and "Come Over," two he recorded on the acoustic Between the Pines album that would become hits for Currington and Chesney, respectively. Commercial success was heavily considered when choosing the best Sam Hunt songs, but not the only factor. Awards, lasting legacy, how a song sounds live and general critical opinion helped shape the 11 best.

11 Best Sam Hunt Songs:

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