Lorrie Morgan is one of the 1990s' queens of country music. From her debut single in 1979 -- released a full decade before her debut album, 1989's Leave the Light On -- to her most recent album, 2017's collaboration with Pam Tillis, Come See Me and Come Lonely, Morgan has racked up 40 Billboard-charting songs.
Throughout her four decades in the country music business, Tillis has recorded 15 studio albums. She's appeared on songs with everyone from Sammy Kershaw and Jon Randall to Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys -- and, oh yeah, sold 6 million records.
Which of Morgan's songs are her very best? Read on for our picks.
"Trainwreck of Emotion"From 'Leave the Light On' (1989)
Somewhere between Morgan’s first single (1979’s “I’m Completely Satisfied With You”) and her first No. 1 hit (1990’s “Five Minutes”) came “Trainwreck of Emotion.” Morgan's 1988 single holds significance, too: It was her first single from her debut studio album, and her first Top 20 hit. "Trainwreck of Emotion" kicked Morgan's career into gear.
"Don't Worry Baby"From the Beach Boys' 'Stars and Stripes Vol. 1' (1996)
Does the title “Don’t Worry Baby” sound more like a Beach Boys song than a Lorrie Morgan song? There’s a reason for that: “Don’t Worry Baby” is a duet with the iconic rock group. Beach Boys fans were already familiar with the track, which was originally released in 1964 as the B-side to the classic hit “I Get Around,” but in 1996, the band re-recorded the song with country flair for their Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 album. Morgan pulls off the vocals effortlessly -- a truly great performance.
"Two People in Love"Single (1979)
“Two People in Love” was Morgan's introduction to the world: The 1979 release was her very first single. A love song written as a relationship falls apart, "Two People in Love" opens optimistically with the line, “Look at you, trying to make me laugh again” -- but as the chorus reminds the listener, “Two people in love don’t act this way.” In 2006, Morgan honored this career-establishing song by re-releasing it on a short, 8-song album called -- you guessed it -- Two People in Love.
"'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose"From Keith Whitley's 'Greatest Hits' (1990)
Showing up to record a new song for someone else’s greatest hits album takes guts -- but turning it into a posthumous hit? That's on a new level. "'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose" was the only single released from Keith Whitley’s 1990 album Greatest Hits, released a year after his death; it hit No. 13 on the charts, earned a Grammy Awards nomination and won the CMA for Vocal Event of the Year. The fact that it's a song about promising someone eternal love sung by a country star gone too soon and his widow makes it extra bittersweet.
"I'm Completely Satisfied With You"Single (1979)
In 1979, Morgan harnessed the star power of her late father, Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member George Morgan, for her third single, “I’m Completely Satisfied With You.” The mid-tempo, classic country song is a dialogue between romantic partners, but it feels meaningful that Morgan chose to feature her father’s vocals on a song in which his first line is “You’re my special girl.”
"Five Minutes"From 'Leave the Light On' (1989)
Between 1979 and 1989, Morgan released nine singles, none of which reached the top spot on the Billboard charts. That changed in 1990, when she released “Five Minutes” as the fourth single from her debut studio album, Leave the Light On. The song could be described as a mid-tempo ultimatum, in which the narrator explains to her partner, “You’ve got five minutes to tell me what I need to hear” -- but it can just as succinctly be described as an instant classic, and one of Morgan’s best-known songs.
"Something in Red"From 'Something in Red' (1991)
The title track of 1991’s Something in Red had the lowest chart performance of all of the album’s singles -- “We Both Walk” was No. 3 hit, “Except for Monday” rose to No. 4, and “A Picture of Me (Without You)” peaked at No. 9 -- but even though it never advanced past the Top 15, it has become, in many regards, the album's most successful song. The record's fourth single is a Morgan staple, one of the first few songs of hers that people typically list as a favorite -- likely aided by its ACM and Grammy Awards nominations.
"I Didn't Know My Own Strength"From 'Reflections: Greatest Hits' (1995)
It’s quite a flex to use a greatest hits album to release an excellent new song; it’s even more of a flex to call your own shot and watch that song turn into a No. 1 hit. That’s exactly what happened with “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” which Morgan recorded and released as a single from her 1995 album Reflections: Greatest Hits. The song is Morgan’s final No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts to date, and it's fitting that this particular song holds that honor: "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" is a self-love anthem about moving forward and thriving, even in the face of adversity. And it still is, indeed, one of Morgan’s greatest hits.
"Maybe Not Tonight"From Sammy Kershaw's 'Maybe Not Tonight' (1999)
Two years before she married him, Morgan recorded “Maybe Not Tonight” with Sammy Kershaw. He released the song as the title track of his 1999 album, and she put the song on her 1999 album My Heart. Their chemistry -- both vocal and otherwise -- is evident, which helps the ballad about two struggling lovers soar: “We fell out of love,” the narrator admits. “We can fall back in.” The song peaked at No. 17.
"What Part of No (Don't You Understand)"From 'Watch Me' (1992)
“What Part of No (Don’t You Understand),” the second single from Morgan’s third album, Watch Me, took over the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for three weeks in 1993. It is now considered one of the singer’s signature tunes, and is her biggest hit to date. Surprisingly ahead of its time, the song uses snark to emphasize women’s autonomy, and to tackle the subject of persistent men at bars and the importance of taking “no” for an answer. Ultimately upbeat, the song culminates with the eye-rolling plea: “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” The popularity of the song helped boost Watch Me to platinum status, making Morgan the first female country artist to have three consecutive albums go platinum.