Lauren Alaina lost her beloved "pawpaw" earlier this year, and ever since then, the most random memories of him have been running through her mind.

“It's so funny how certain things remind you of a person,” Alaina says softly in a recent interview with Taste of Country mere hours before her Sept. 30 performance at the Grand Ole Opry. “As kids, my brother and I spent every single day at my grandparents' house. He cleaned the middle school where we went to school, so we would stay after school with him and hang out with him and then play basketball. I spent, like, 80 percent of my childhood with my pawpaw. He was my buddy.”

During her recent performance at the Grand Ole Opry, it was her buddy that the multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter and Opry member was thinking of as she was on hand to announce the partnership between the Opry and Bush’s Baked Beans.

“Bush’s Baked Beans were my pawpaw's favorite,” the Georgia native explains of her grandfather, who endured a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. “He was obsessed with them. When I'm at the grocery store and I walk down the aisle and I see Bush’s, I think of my pawpaw."

She pauses before adding, "Even when he forgot everything, he knew he liked them beans.”

One of the songs Alaina played during her Opry performance on Sept. 30 was the Loretta Lynn classic “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man,)” which also had a sweet connection to her late grandfather.

“My grandmother passed when I was 10,” begins Alaina, who is scheduled to be back in the studio working on new music in November. “When I was 12 or 13, I was singing in this restaurant in my hometown. My grandfather had this girlfriend and he brought her to see me sing, and I went over to the table where they were sitting and I sang, ‘You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)’ to her."

"She never came to see me sing again," Alaina adds with a laugh.

Making her Grand Ole Opry performance on Sept. 30 even more special was the fact that Alaina had the distinct honor of introducing the famous Bush’s Beans Spokes-Dog, Duke, to the audience. And while Alaina says she loves dogs, she knew that one dog in particular might be a tad jealous.

“Yeah, my dog Opry is not here tonight,” she remarked with a chuckle. “I didn't tell her because she has not made her debut yet, and she's named after this place, so I don't think it would go over very well, so I just left it. She's also a little jealous when I'm around other dogs.”

Top 10 Country Songs of 2022 So Far, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is a gut punch. These 10 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.

Five of the 10 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021 as well, but there are no repeats. If a song made a previous list or didn't spend most of its time on the charts in 2022, it's not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is, be sure the miss isn't just a technicality.

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