When Joey + Rory appeared on CMT's Can You Duet in 2008, nothing could have prepared them for their future. The following years years were filled with concerts and albums, yes, but also with joy and sorrow, life and death, accomplishments and awards. The husband-and-wife duo placed third in the TV singing competition, and the couple released their debut album, The Life of a Song, in October of that year.
With seven albums under their belts, the Feeks' music inspired many, and their timeless lyrics, gorgeous vocals and love for one another made them stand out from the crowd.
These are The Boot's picks for Joey + Rory's Top 5 songs.
"Cheater, Cheater" was the Feeks' debut single, released in 2008, and it's 100-percent country and a whole lot of fun. The song is about as far from the Feeks' real-life marriage as you can get, but it's always fun to get into character, which the couple does so well in "Cheater, Cheater.": "Liar, liar, did you buy her / Whiskey all night long? / Did you hide your ring in the pocket of your jeans / Or did you just keep it on?" asks Joey Feek in the lyrics. The tune peaked at No. 30 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Joey + Rory released their sophomore album, the appropriately titled Album Number Two in September of 2010, and in October, "That's Important to Me" followed as the disc's second single. Although the song didn't fare exceptionally well on the charts, it received a nomination for Mainstream Inspirational Country Song at the 2011 Inspirational Country Music Awards.
Joey + Rory got an assist from Zac Brown for their song "This Song's for You," released as the lead single from their sophomore album in July of 2010. Rory Feek and Brown wrote the song together while the two acts were on tour together, and the Zac Brown Band frontman also sing's the song's bridge. And while that's cool, what really makes the song special is the fact that it's a love letter of sorts to Joey + Rory's fans.
"If I Needed You" is the Feeks' first-ever Grammy-nominated song. It's from Joey + Rory's 2013 record, Made to Last, and its music video features the couple preparing for their daughter, Indiana, to be born. A cover of Townes Van Zandt‘s “If I Needed You,” the tune was nominated for Best Country Duo / Group Performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards -- a surprise nomination.
“As her excitement and tears flowed into mine, she said, ‘How can that be?' … the song received no radio airplay … no press … no critical acclaim … and the only music video we made for it was to celebrate the day our little Indiana was born," Rory Feek recalls of his wife's reaction to the nod.
Joey + Rory's "When I'm Gone" has touched the hearts of millions. Its music video has over 7 million views on YouTube, and for good reason: The song is the story of a wife telling her husband that he'll be alright when she's gone -- a situation that became eerily realistic as the couple struggled with Joey Feek's terminal cancer diagnosis.
“You’ll wonder why the Earth still moves / You’ll wonder how you’ll carry on / But you’ll be okay on that first day when I’m gone,” Joey Feek sings in the song.
However, "When I'm Gone" was around since long before Joey Feek's cancer; the tune was on the duo's third record, His + Hers.