Despite the pageantry and buzz that came with the 2015 CMA Awards, the No. 1 song on Taste of Country's monthly Top 40 Country Songs list remains unchanged. December 2015's list features a song that has held court at the top of the iTunes charts in recent weeks and been one of the most buzzed-about songs of the year!

That's not to say the CMAs didn't matter. Chris Stapleton debuts at No. 5 with "Tennessee Whiskey" — no song has ever ranked so high without radio airplay. His "official" single is "Nobody to Blame," and it logs in at a very respectable No. 20 in December. Eric Church's new song "Mr. Misunderstood" also cracks this Top 40 playlist of the first time, charting at No. 10.

Cam, Sam Hunt and Chris Young also make the Top 5, but it's Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man" at No. 1 yet again. The ballad has gone gold for 500,000 singles sold and will surely hit one million before it peaks on the radio airplay chart. It's a rare instance where fan, critic, sales and radio airplay indicators all line up to reveal an clear top song.

The list of Top 40 Country Songs of December 2015 is compiled from Billboard chart data and sales figures, in addition to staff opinion and reader feedback.

Top 40 Country Songs for December 2015:

40. Joey + Rory, “When I’m Gone”
39. Maddie & Tae, “Shut Up and Fish”
38. Brantley Gilbert, “Stone Cold Sober”
37. Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You”
36. Michael Ray, “Real Men Love Jesus”
35. Tyler Farr, “Better in Boots”
34. Dustin Lynch, “Mind Reader”
33. Jon Pardi, “Head Over Boots”
32. Luke Bryan (Feat. Karen Fairchild), “Home Alone Tonight”
31. Hunter Hayes, “21”
30. George Strait, “Cold Beer Conversation”
29. Chase Bryant, “Little Bit of You”
28. A Thousand Horses, “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”
27. Parmalee, “Already Callin’ You Mine”
26. Canaan Smith, “Hole In a Bottle”
25. Rascal Flatts, “I Like the Sound of That”
24. Brad Paisley, “Country Nation”
23. Big & Rich, “Run Away With You”
22. Granger Smith, “Backroad Song”
21. Keith Urban, “Break on Me”
20. Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame” - ONE OF TWO STAPLETON SONGS!
19. Tim McGraw, “Top of the World”
18. Jason Aldean, “Gonna Know We Were Here”
17. Dan + Shay, “Nothin’ Like You”
16. Dierks Bentley, “Riser”
15. Kelsea Ballerini, “Dibs”
14. Blake Shelton, “Gonna”
13. Zac Brown Band, “Beautiful Drug” - BIGGEST JUMP!
12. Carrie Underwood, “Heartbeat”
11. Randy Houser, “We Went”
10. Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood”
9. LoCash, “I Love This Life”
8. Jana Kramer, “I Got the Boy”
7. Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”
6. Brothers Osborne, “Stay a Little Little Longer”
5. Chris Stapleton, “Tennessee Whiskey” - HIGHEST DEBUT!
4. Chris Young, “I’m Comin’ Over”
3. Sam Hunt, “Break Up in a Small Town”
2. Cam, “Burning House” - DEBUT ALBUM UNTAMED DROPS DEC. 11!
1. Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man” - SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH AT NO. 1!

Did Your Favorite Song Make Our Top 40 Country Songs List for December 2015?

What would you add to our list of the Top 40 country songs for December 2015? Share your opinions on this list — as well as the songs that deserve to be included, but weren’t — in the comments section below.

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