CMT Hot 20 Decade: “Tequila,” Dan + Shay

"Winning a Grammy was an insane thing"

Editor’s Note: CMT Hot 20 Countdown takes a look back on 10 years of incredible music with Decade, a weekly segment that features a modern country classic that made its greatest impact between 2010 and 2019. This week, Dan + Shay talk about their 2018 single, “Tequila.” Here are Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, in their own words:

Dan: People try to justify why they think a song is gonna be a hit, or why they think it might not be a hit, and a couple of people said, “You know, ballads will never work on radio.” “You need something uptempo, uptempo, uptempo.” “They want pace.” “They want something fast, because all of our hits are ballads.” All the biggest country songs of all time are ballads, if you look back in history.

But I feel like that’s a tendency — everybody chases that and chases seasons and says, “Well, if it does do its thing and takes x amount of time to get up the charts, it’ll peak in July and you don’t want to be out there on the road playing a ballad.” And I mean, if you watch our Instagram videos, our fans, they don’t care if it’s a ballad. They just want to sing it. They react to the song.

We also heard some arguments that no one drinks tequila, which we drink tequila. All of our friends do, so I don’t know if that was valid. We shot that one out the door really quickly. But yeah, apparently a lot of people like drinking tequila and a lot of people ended up liking listening to the song, too.

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