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A breakthrough artist, Chely Wright became a successful award-winning singer in country music starting in 1994, when she won Top New Female Artist at the Academy of Country Music.
Not many see her as the 90s country singer, but one listen to her music and you're somehow transported into the 90s.
Since then, Wright has released eight studio albums; her fourth album yielded a number one single and has charted least more than fifteen singles on the country charts.
In 2010, Wright became the first high-profile woman in country music to publicly announce her sexual orientation.
Wright has since become an activist in the LGBT community, in hopes to end bullying and hate crimes against homosexuals.
Wright was on a hiatus from 2005 to 2015, when she released her new studio album, Lifted Off the Ground, which is a memoir.
Here are a few of my top Chely Wright songs.
6. "Between a Mother and a Child"
In this ballad, listeners can hear the tension between Wright and her mother in the short three minutes. It's actually almost too much to bear as it plays itself out. In an interview with CMT, Wright stated, "I wish I had a great relationship with my mother."
5. "Shut Up and Drive"
This 1997 song peaked at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. "Shut Up And Drive" was also Wright's first Top 40 hit. The song, which is told from the female narrative, is about a woman leaving a relationship, and she has to push herself in order to keep going instead of turning back. One of the best verses in this song is, "He's not the one. You ought to know that by now. You've got one of those hearts that keeps changing your mind."
"Jezebel" was released in 2001 and reached the number 23 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot County Songs chart after the release of Wright's Never Love You Enough album. This song has a catchy chorus, similar to Dolly Parton's 'Jolene,' a woman is being warned about her lover.
"River" is one of the saddest songs I've heard by Wright. This song shows the metaphor of how a certain place can be so beautiful, yet can have such a dark, painful memory.
2. "It's the Song"
"It's the Song" is not one of Wright's well-known songs. I'm actually shocked at how downplayed it's been when it's such a beautiful song. She's singing about what she's doing—she's performing in a different town, on a different day, yet it's all the same. Wright's saying, "It's not the miles / it's not the pay / it's not the show / it's not the fame that makes this home / it's the song." One of my favorite lines in the song is, "But when I sing, they sing along. I forget where I am but I know where I belong. The reason why I'm standing here..." Wright discovers that it's the song.
1. "Bumper of My SUV"
"Bumper of my SUV" is one of Wright's unexpected success, which is a song in support of American troops. The song is neither pro-war or a right-wing stance. In fact, Wright keeps politics out of her music and in life where she's passed on four political rallies for previous presidents.