Raleigh Keegan can still remember it like it was yesterday.

“She was my first real girlfriend,” Keegan remembers of the teenage romance that quickly turned into his first major breakup. “The summer had just begun, and she had a party and didn’t invite me, and she ended up making out with some guy there. It was brutal.”

In fact, the rising country artist with the movie star looks and genuine country sound will be the first to admit that he saw his share of summertime breakups back in the day.

“I’m no stranger to summer breakups,” he says with a laugh. “When I was in high school, every summer, the girl I was in love with broke up with me. The bell rang and she was off to a new guy.”

Maybe that’s why his new song “Drink for That” hits so close to the heart of the Ohio native, since it’s a song that touches on the memories left behind following heartbreak.

“I do think that’s why the song is going to be super relatable,” Keegan tells Taste of Country. “Whether its drinks or foods or vacation stops, it’s going to remind you of a time in your life. Music especially does that for me. When I listen to old John Mayer records, I’m back in high school," he adds with another laugh. "It’s really the neat part of this song.”

It’s a song that came together rather differently for Keegan, who usually walks into a writing session with at least three ideas as to what to tackle song-wise. But on the day “Drink for That” materialized, he had a whole lotta nothing.

“I remember [co-writer] Matt [Rogers] sang the first couple lines of the chorus and I was instantly hooked,” Keegan says of the song they also co-wrote with Eric Torres. “It’s about heartbreak, but I always feel myself smiling through the chorus.”

Of course, that could be due to the fact that Keegan now finds himself a happily married man to his wife Shelby, who he first met on a church retreat in 2013.

“I would bring my guitar out at night, and you can best believe I was trying to get her attention,”  Keegan admits. “I remember that she introduced me to Zac Brown Band, and took me to my first Zac Brown Band concert, which was life-changing for me. So, music has been a big part of our journey.”

That journey also has included its share of lakes and drinks, too.

“We love to go to Destin in Florida or Lake Cumberland in Kentucky,” gushes Keegan. “And once we are there, chances are I’m going to partake in a bourbon, while she is more of a wine or margarita girl. Either way, it’s all part of making yet another memory.”

10 Hottest Songs for Summer 2021

Summer 2021 needs a great soundtrack, and country music's biggest stars and hottest newcomers are supplying. Find songs from Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert on this 10 Hottest Songs for Summer 2021 list.

Newcomers Willie Jones and Walker Hayes also make the list with earworms we don't want to quit. Not every hot summer song needs to be a good-time party song, and not every good party song will make a great summer playlist. Our Top 10 embraces a range of emotions and experiences. What would summer be without summer love or summer heartache, or a bit of nostalgia?

Scroll down to see all 10 songs on this list of the hottest summer country songs. It's part of Taste of Country's summer Hot List, an annual report on the songs and artists set to bake this year.

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