Since 2012, Dan + Shay have been delighting listeners and building a dedicated fanbase with their lyrical storytelling prowess and pitch-perfect harmonies. Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney met that year and started writing together the very next day, beginning a musical partnership that has resulted in dozens of hit songs, both for themselves and for other artists, such as Rascal Flatts.
Over the course of three studio albums, this duo has cemented themselves as one of the leading acts in country music, and one with major crossover appeal to boot. To date, they've landed eight singles at the top of the country charts, and their 2019 duet with Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours," was a monster hit in the pop world, too.
Dan + Shay have won trophies at country-centric awards shows such as the CMA Awards, ACM Awards and CMT Music Awards, but they shine at all-genre events, too: They've also won Grammys and American Music Awards trophies.
Below are The Boot's picks for Dan + Shay's Top 10 tunes. Keep reading to see if your favorite track made the list:
"19 You + Me"From 'Where It All Began' (2014)
"19 You + Me" is the single that started it all. Dan + Shay's radio debut also gave them their first Top 10 hit: The song reached No. 7 on the country charts. Highlighting the duo's sweet harmonies and approachable pop-country sound, "19 You + Me" was the perfect song to introduce Dan + Shay, and also to give listeners a first taste of the vivid lyrical storytelling that has become their trademark.
"Take Me Home for Christmas"Single (2020)
One of a two-pack of standalone holiday singles that Dan + Shay released in 2020 ("Christmas Isn't Christmas" was the other track), "Take Me Home for Christmas" was the first original holiday tune that the duo ever released. The song immediately became a fan favorite, bringing in 10 million global streams in its first month out. The song also presented an opportunity for Dan + Shay to spotlight their families, with the two bandmates' wives, Mooney's kids and Smyers' dogs making an appearance in the music video.
"How Not To"From 'Obsessed' (2016)
“How Not To” may be the only song on this list on which Smyers and Mooney don’t have writing credits, but with imaginative lyrics and powerful melodies, it’s still quintessential Dan + Shay. Chronicling the hard path back to life after a breakup or, as shown in the song’s music video, addiction, “How Not To” is a beautiful example of what happens when performers put their ego aside and, as Mooney says, “let the best song win.”
"Keeping Score" (feat. Kelly Clarkson)From 'Dan + Shay' (2018)
While "Keeping Score" might not have become a No. 1 hit at country radio, Dan + Shay certainly made an impression with this powerful cross-genre duet with Kelly Clarkson -- the perfect duet partner to match Mooney's stratospheric vocal range and sweeping harmonies. In the months leading up to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, "Keeping Score" was a staple of Dan + Shay's live set, and they even got to perform it with their star duet partner at the 2019 ACM Awards, where the song was nominated for Musical Event of the Year.
"All to Myself"From 'Dan + Shay' (2018)
The third single to come off of Dan + Shay's self-titled third album, "All to Myself" became yet another statement of their staying power as a heavily pop-influenced act that can still connect effortlessly to their country fanbase. The song is an irresistible earworm bolstered by skillful vocal harmony in the chorus, and it became the band's sixth chart-topper at country radio.
"I Should Probably Go to Bed"Single (2020)
"I Should Probably Go to Bed" arrived in the summer of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a new single from an as-yet-unannounced fourth Dan + Shay album. An epic, harmony-laden, mid-tempo track, "I Should Probably Go to Bed" is especially impressive because it was created, in large part, from quarantine. Smyers produced the song, and performed and recorded every instrument from his home studio. (Fun fact: "I Should Probably Go to Bed" features backing vocals from Smyers' wife Abby!)
"Speechless"From 'Dan + Shay' (2018)
In addition to their vocal skills, knack for blending genres and talents for collaborating with a range of other artists, Dan + Shay also have a gift for crafting romantic ballads. None fits that bill more perfectly than "Speechless," a song written for their wives that recalls the way they each felt on their wedding days. But while the song was personal -- and its music video features home footage from the two bandmates' weddings -- its message immediately struck a chord with listeners and quickly became a favorite first dance song at weddings everywhere.
"From the Ground Up"From 'Obsessed' (2016)
Speaking of wedding songs, "From the Ground Up" may be Dan + Shay's all-time best-known love anthem. The song uses real-life examples from the lives of their grandparents, both sets of whom were married for 65 years. Smyers and Mooney both grew up with those long-standing relationships to look up to as examples for their own marriages, and the desire to have a love story like their grandparents had is at the heart of the song's lyrics.
"10,000 Hours" (with Justin Bieber)Single (2019)
Perhaps their biggest global smash to date, "10,000 Hours" is Dan + Shay's 2019 duet with Justin Bieber. The song is a romantic, mid-tempo dedication of love, crafted once again with the singers' wives in mind and released four days after Bieber married his wife, Hailey Baldwin. In the months after its release, "10,000 Hours" broke streaming and chart records left and right and won two American Music Awards trophies in 2020; the song is also nominated at the Grammy Awards in 2021.
"Tequila"From 'Dan + Shay' (2018)
While the title "Tequila" may call to mind images of carefree, tropical partying, Dan + Shay successfully subvert expectations with their mournful and chilly breakup ballad, a song that describes how one taste of the liquor in question can bring painful memories of an old relationship flooding back. The song showcases Dan + Shay at the height of their storytelling and vocal powers, and it was a No. 1 country hit in both the U.S. and Canada.