Starting this weekend, CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown is set to fire up a new in-episode special they’re calling ’90s Country Forever, a weekly series highlighting the songs and stars that shaped country music in the 1990s – and how those tunes have impacted the country genre of today.
Featuring Nineties icons like Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Travis Tritt, Martina McBride and more, each week will reveal the story of one song as told by the artist who performed it, with modern hitmakers like Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan and Little Big Town weighing in, too. “Friends in Low Places,” “Fancy,” “Man (I Feel Like a Woman)” and others will all get analyzed and placed into context with a thoughtful, behind-the-music treatment.
First up this Saturday (August 4th) is Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine,” the iconic coming-of-age anthem that topped the country charts in 1996. On ‘90s Country Forever, Carter talks about the song’s creation, noting that as a new artist she was determined to find a song that introduced her properly, and that the song’s writers Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison “just nailed my life story, which ended up being everyone’s first experience [with love].”
Kelsea Ballerini, Ashley McBryde and Little Big Town offer thoughts on how the song impacted them, including LBT’s Karen Fairchild, who says, “It’s like the loss of innocence in that song and the finding of yourself, and it still is one of my very favorite country songs ever.”
‘90s Country Forever will continue to highlight one classic hit each week during broadcasts of Hot 20 Countdown, with the network planning to air the special in its entirety the weekend before Christmas.