Russell Dickerson is no stranger to love songs. He launched onto the country scene with his heartfelt ballad “Yours,” which was released to country radio in 2017 and soon became his first No. 1 single and the wedding song of that year. He’d follow up with the infectious “Blue Tacoma” and endearing “Every Little Thing,” both of which were inspired by his real-life love — wife Kailey — and peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
On Tuesday, Dickerson released his latest love song with “Love You Like I Used To.” The soaring ballad has the country singer reminiscing on the beginnings of his relationship with Kailey, to whom he’s been married for six-plus years. “This is a song that shows the growth and continuation of my relationship,” he says.
“The biggest element of a love song is honesty,” he tells Billboard. “I think you can actually feel when a love song is written from a truthful place and those are the love songs that become truly timeless.”
Who better to curate a Valentine’s Day playlist than the king of country love songs himself? Just in time for the holiday Friday, Dickerson put together a snapshot of some of his favorite love songs that hold special meaning to him.
From iconic ballads by country legends Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw to classic jams from Boyz II Men and Whitney Houston, here are Dickerson’s favorite romantic tracks, as well as some comments on what makes each song so special to him. So light that candle and cozy up beside your Valentine before pressing play on the complete playlist below. (Note: Brooks’ “The Dance,” which Dickerson included on his playlist, is not available on Spotify.)
Here are a few notes from Dickerson on some key tracks:
Garth Brooks, “The Dance”: "Classic love song by one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Hard to beat this smash!"
Kip Moore, “Hey Pretty Girl”: "That’s the song Kailey and I had our first dance to so it will always be one of my favorite love songs. I remember hearing it when it came out and I knew it was the perfect song for us."
Keith Urban, “Somebody Like You”: "This song was on repeat for me and is why Keith Urban is one of my idols. I wore this song out!"
Whitney Houston, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”: "This classic ’80s jam you can’t help but love. Whitney can do no wrong!! There’s a part in my live show when I do this during ‘MGNO’ and you can’t help but get the RD Fam up and dancing to it."
Lauv, “I Like Me Better”: "Everything this guy does is magic. Who doesn’t relate to these thoughts on love?"