Country Music News

From “Small Town USA” to “We Didn’t Have Much,” Justin Moore eyes his tenth #1

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Cody Villalobos

This week, Justin Moore‘s on track to earn his tenth career #1, as “We Didn’t Have Much” makes a place for itself at the top of the country airplay chart.

But it wasn’t that long ago — 2009, to be exact — when the Arkansas native was struggling to find his first success. At that point, he’d put out one single — which peaked at #38 — and he knew he needed a hit to hang on to his record deal. 

“Obviously ‘Back That Thing Up’ didn’t do very well,” Justin recalls, “and then the label wanted to go with ‘Small Town USA,’ and I liked the song because of what it meant to me.”

“But I thought, ‘I don’t know if it’s commercial enough. I don’t know if enough people can relate to it.’ Fortunately, I was wrong,” he chuckles.

Even though “Small Town USA” would become the first in a string of number ones, it wasn’t necessarily easy, taking nearly a year for it to reach the pinnacle.

“It was a tough record,” Justin admits. “It was a 50-plus-week record and we lost the bullet, golly, two or three times. I remember being out at the ACMs that first or second year I went, and we were working that song. And I remember having really difficult conversations with the label, like, ‘we don’t know’ kind of deal.”

“And finally we turned the corner and it obviously was a huge record for us,” he continues. “So that one was very important because without that — it sounds obvious — I wouldn’t be sitting here.”

Two years later, Justin would grab his second #1 with his career-defining smash “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.”

“We Didn’t Have Much” is the lead single from Justin’s Straight Outta the Country collection. 

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