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Country Music Singers (Check Them Out!)

There’s no doubt that country music is as popular as it’s ever been, with up-and-coming artists such as Morgan Wallen and Jelly Roll, as well as rising stars like Zach Bryan, dominating country charts and building fan bases.

Much of this success can be attributed to the dozens of well-known country singers who have shaped the music industry over the years.

Whether it’s Johnny Cash, George Jones, or Shania Twain, these country stars have influenced the music industry for decades. They’ve written some of the most iconic songs in country music history, and they’ve all had a significant impact on popular culture. Here are 10 of the greatest country singers of all time.

George Jones

George Jones started playing in local bars in Texas as a kid to support his family. He played in bars in San Jose California during the Korean War while serving in the Marine Corps. By the late 1950s he had his first number one country hit with “White Lightning”.

He also had a series of successful singles with his third wife Tammy Wynette, one of which was 1973’s “We’re Gonna Hold On.” However, his addiction to alcohol contributed to their divorce in 1975.

  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).
  • Over 150 hit singles, including “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
George Jones
George Jones

Johnny Cash

Known as the “Man in Black” for his flashy stage outfits, Cash served in the United States Air Force and began his career as a singer-songwriter after he was discharged in 1954. He and his bandmates, the Tennessee Two, released their debut album, “I Walk the Line,” in 1956. 

Cash continued to make music well into the 21st century until his untimely passing in September 2003 due to complications from diabetes. His life and relationship with his wife, June Carter Cash, were the focus of a 2005 biopic, “Walk the Line,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, and his wife, June Witherspoon.

Johnny Cash in the black and white era
Johnny Cash in the black and white era

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline (1907 – March 1963) was a singer-songwriter who was considered one of the best in the country. She dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to make enough money to support her family.

She performed on the radio and entered singing competitions in between jobs. She went on to become a member of the grand ole Opry and went on to tour with Johnny Cash in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Like her best friend, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist, singer, songwriter, and actress, singer, and songwriter, Patricio Cline (1902 – 1963) was the victim of a plane crash. In 1985, a biographical movie, Sweet Dreams, starring Jessica Lange, was released about Cline’s life.

  • Posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1999).
  • First female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1973).
  • Hits like “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces” remain country classics.
Young Patsy Cline
Young Patsy Cline
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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has a total of two No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as countless country hits, including “Jolene” and “Heartbreaker.” She is a member of the country music Hall of Fame and the rock & roll hall of fame. Dolly Parton will be releasing her first rock album in November 2023, titled “Rockstar.”

Dolly Parton isn’t just a singer. She is also a writer, founder of the “Imagination Library” and co-owner of Dollywood, a popular amusement park in Tennessee.

  • Over 25 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country charts.
  • Grammy Awards across diverse categories.
  • Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1999).
Dolly Parton in all black
Dolly Parton in all black

Randy Travis

Randy Travis, with his unmistakable baritone voice, introduced a new generation of country artists such as Travis Tritt, Clint Black, and others to the country music world as part of the “New Traditionalist” movement that brought country music back into harmony with its roots.

Travis, 64, is best known for his collection of faith-themed songs. In 2016, he was named to the country music Hall of Fame. In 2013, Travis suffered a stroke and was able to relearn his singing and guitar skills, although he no longer tours.

Randy Travis
Randy Travis

Garth Brooks

In 1991, Garth Brooks’ debut studio album, Ropin’ the Wind, became the first country album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. To date, Brooks has sold over 160 million albums.

The singer-songwriter was a major influence on Martina McBride’s career, who opened for Brooks on his 1990 tour and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Country Album.

In 2005, Brooks married Trisha Yearwood, a country singer. He is a strong supporter of bipartisanship, performing at two inaugurations: President Barack Obama’s (in 2009) and Joe Biden’s (in 2021).

Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks

Willie Nelson

At the age of 90, the Texan singer-songwriter was the face of the “outlaw country” genre, challenging the conservative culture of Nashville, Tennessee and the country music industry as a whole. 

Nelson began his career as a singer-songwriter in 1960, earning as little as fifty dollars a week. 

In 1975, he achieved mainstream success with the release of his debut album, “Red-Headed Stranger.” 

He also formed the 12-time Grammy Award-winning supergroup Highwaymen, which featured Johnny Cash and fellow country music stars Waylon Jennings, as well as Kris Kristofferson, in the late 1970s. In 1985, he helped organize the first ever Farm Aid benefit concert.

Willie Nelson and his iconic hair
Willie Nelson and his iconic hair

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw is the son of former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Frank “Tug” McGraw. He briefly studied pre-law at the University of Tennessee, but dropped out to focus on his music career.

It appears he made the right decision, as 26 of his songs have reached number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. He also starred in movies such as Friday Night Lights in 2004, Flicka in 2006, and The Blind Side in 2009.

At 56, Tim McGraw is one half of the country music’s biggest power couple, Faith Hill, who he married in 1996.

  • Three Grammy Awards, including Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.
  • Successful acting career in films like “The Blind Side.”
Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw

Shania Twain

Shania Twain was born on May 18, 1958, in Windsor, Ontario. She rose to fame in the 1990s with the success of her debut album, The Woman in Me, and her follow-up album, Come On Over. She is currently the best-selling female country singer on the Billboard Hot 100.

In recent years, Twain has undergone several vocal tightening surgeries, including one in 2018, to treat dysphonia, a condition in which her vocal cords tighten too much. However, in 2022, she showed that her career is far from over by releasing her sixth studio album, Queen of Me.

  • Five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
  • Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2011).
Shania Twain singing
Shania Twain singing

Hank Williams

Recognized as the first superstar of country music, singer-songwriter Hank Williams began his career as a guitarist at the age of 8, and made his first radio appearance when he was 13 years old.

After releasing several successful singles, including “move it on over,” “lovesick blues,” the singer struggled with alcoholism and abuse of painkillers both on and off stage. 

Williams died in 1953, just days after falling ill in a hotel room in Knoxville, Tenn., where he had been scheduled to play a concert. 

His legacy lives on, however, through his son, also a country star.

Hank Williams
Hank Williams

Timeless Tunes: Chart-Topping Hits from Country Legends

SingerTop Hit
George Jones“He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “A Good Year for the Roses,” “The Grand Tour”
Johnny Cash“Ring of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Hurt”
Patsy Cline“Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Walking After Midnight”
Dolly Parton“Jolene,” “9 to 5,” “Coat of Many Colors”
Randy Travis“Forever and Ever, Amen,” “I Told You So,” “On the Other Hand”
Garth Brooks“Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance,” “Thunder Rolls”
Willie Nelson“On the Road Again,” “Always on My Mind,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”
Tim McGraw“Live Like You Were Dying,” “Humble and Kind,” “It’s Your Love”
Shania Twain“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!,” “You’re Still the One,” “From This Moment On”
Hank Williams“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’


  • Country music continues to thrive with rising stars like Morgan Wallen and Jelly Roll captivating audiences.
  • Icons such as Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Shania Twain have left an indelible mark on the industry.
  • These legends not only shaped country music but also influenced popular culture.
  • With timeless tunes, impactful careers, and enduring legacies, these artists remain at the heart of country music’s rich history.

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