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 in 2012 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.
Below are The Boot's picks for Dan + Shay's Top 5 (so far) tunes. Scroll down to see if your favorite track made the list!
"19 You + Me"From 'Where It All Began' (2014)
Dan + Shay's debut single, "19 You + Me," gave Smyers and Mooney their first Top 10 hit; it 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.
"When I Pray for You"From the 'The Shack' soundtrack (2017)
Written for the soundtrack of the 2017 film The Shack, “When I Pray for You” is a powerful love song of a different kind: It’s about the love a father has for his child, even before he or she is born. About all that a soon-to-be father wishes for his soon-to-be-born child, “When I Pray for You” is an intimately personal track for Mooney, who wrote the song right before having his first child in 2017. The song played double duty on both the country and Christian charts, making it all the way to No. 3 on Billboard’s Christian Songs list.
"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.”
"Tequila"From 'Dan + Shay' (2018)
Another song that beautifully reflects on lost love and moving on, “Tequila” is a harmonically powerful track. The track is classic Dan + Shay, full of nostalgic storytelling and saturated in melancholy love, which Smyers says was intentional. Even better, Dan + Shay also released the isolated vocal tracks for the song, which highlight the duo’s pitch-perfect vocals and well-honed harmonies.
"From the Ground Up"From 'Obsessed' (2016)
Dan + Shay are known for their sweet love songs, and with "From the Ground Up," they used the real-life examples of their grandparents to craft a beautiful song. Both Smyers' and Mooney's grandparents were married for 65 years, which inspired the guys to write a song that follows the journey of a couple throughout their entire lives -- for better and for worse. Lyrics such as "And we'll build this love from the ground up / For worse or for better / And I will be all you need / Beside you I'll stand through the good and the bad" make "From the Ground Up" a practically perfect first dance song.