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The Best Musical Artists From Alabama

Updated January 27, 2020 3.0k votes 160 voters 7.4k views103 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in Alabama or bands formed in Alabama.

Here are the best artists and bands from Alabama. Alabama has had a thriving music scene for well over a century now. The state has played an important role in the development of numerous musical genres. Folk, gospel, country, and blues would not be where they are today if it were not for the hard work of all the talented musicians who have come out of the Yellowhammer State. If you thought the state was only known for "Sweet Home Alabama," then think again. 

Many of the best musical artists from Alabama have already been inducted into the state's Music Hall of Fame. Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, and The Commodores are just a few of the big names that have been honored by their fellow Alabamians. There are plenty of other acts that may soon join these artists in the Hall of Fame, such as Gucci Mane, Yelawolf, and The Band Perry. Other popular Alabama artists include Lionel Richie, Gucci Mane, Alabama Shakes, and Debby Ryan.

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame is one thing, but which singers do you think deserve to be at the top of this list? The most famous Alabama musical artists are found below, and you have the power to decide who should be considered the best. Whether you're a hardcore music lover or just a casual listener, your input is desired. 

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  • 1
    Hank Williams
    76
    18

    Hank Williams

    Outlaw country, Western music

    AlbumsCold, Cold Heart, Beyond the Sunset, Three Hanks: Men With Broken Hearts, Hillbilly Hero

    Hiram King "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Lionel Richie
    64
    23

    Lionel Richie

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music

    AlbumsCan't Slow Down, Tuskegee, Coming Home, Dancing on the Ceiling, Renaissance

    Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Nat King Cole
    58
    19

    Nat King Cole

    Jump blues, Swing music

    AlbumsMerry Christmas, The Magic of Christmas, The Nat King Cole Christmas Album, Merry Christmas, Christmas Favorites

    Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Alabama
    59
    25

    Alabama

    Country pop, Pop music

    AlbumsChristmas Vol. II, Alabama Christmas, Feels So Right, Christmas With The Judds & Alabama, Mountain Music

    Alabama is an American country and Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Jason Isbell
    46
    15

    Jason Isbell

    Rock music, Progressive country

    AlbumsSirens of the Ditch, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Here We Rest, Southeastern, Live From Alabama

    Michael Jason Isbell (; born February 1, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Commodores
    51
    22

    Commodores

    Disco, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCommodores, Midnight Magic, In the Pocket, Hits, Volume I

    The Commodores are an American funk/soul band, which was at its peak in the late 1970s through... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Emmylou Harris
    42
    16

    Emmylou Harris

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsLight of the Stable, Anthology: The Warner/Reprise Years, Red Dirt Girl, Stumble Into Grace, At the Ryman

    Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Jimmy Buffett
    48
    24

    Jimmy Buffett

    Tropical rock, Western music

    AlbumsChristmas Island, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, Son of a Son of a Sailor, Live at Texas Stadium

    James William Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, musician,... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Tammy Wynette
    31
    8

    Tammy Wynette

    Nashville sound, Country

    AlbumsLet's Build A World Together, D-I-V-O-R-C-E, We Go Together, Christmas With Tammy, Honky Tonk Angels

    Tammy Wynette (; born Virginia Wynette Pugh; May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998), was an American... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Wilson Pickett
    38
    16

    Wilson Pickett

    Southern soul, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Exciting Wilson Pickett, The Sound of Wilson Pickett, Take Your Pleasure, Funky Situation, Right On

    Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American singer and songwriter. A... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Percy Sledge
    30
    8

    Percy Sledge

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    AlbumsWhen a Man Loves a Woman, When a Man Loves a Women, 3 for 3, Collection, It Tears Me Up: The Best of Percy Sledge

    Percy Tyrone Sledge (November 25, 1941 – April 14, 2015) was an American R&B, soul and gospel... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Alabama Shakes
    41
    20

    Alabama Shakes

    Americana, Blues-rock

    AlbumsBoys & Girls, iTunes Session, Alabama Shakes, Heavy Chevy, Hold On

    Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama, in 2009. The group consists... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • 14
    Drive-By Truckers
    31
    11

    Drive-By Truckers

    Rock music, Alternative rock

    AlbumsSouthern Rock Opera, Decoration Day, The Dirty South, Brighter Than Creation's Dark, The Big To-Do

    The Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Clarence Carter
    31
    13

    Clarence Carter

    Soul music

    AlbumsTestifyin' / This Is Clarence Carter, This Is Clarence Carter, Messin' With My Mind, Patches, Dr. C.C.

    Clarence George Carter (born January 14, 1936) is an American blues and soul singer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Eddie Floyd
    26
    8

    Eddie Floyd

    Southern soul, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsKnock on Wood, The Best Of, Rare Stamps, Rare Stamps, Things Get Better / Good Love

    Edward Lee Floyd (born June 25, 1937) is an American soul-R&B singer and songwriter, best... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Brittany Howard
    31
    14

    Brittany Howard

    Americana, blues rock
    Brittany Howard (born October 2, 1988) is an American musician, best known as lead vocalist... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    St. Paul and The Broken Bones
    26
    9
    St. Paul and The Broken Bones is a six-piece soul band based in Birmingham, Alabama, United... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Jamey Johnson
    31
    17

    AlbumsLiving for a Song - A Tribute to Hank Cochran, The Dollar, That Lonesome Song, The Guitar Song, In Color

    Jamey Johnson (born July 14, 1975) is an American country music artist. Signed to BNA Records... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Tommy Shaw
    27
    14

    Tommy Shaw

    Glam metal, Rock music

    Albums7 Deadly Zens, Girls With Guns, Ambition, The Great Divide, What If

    Tommy Roland Shaw (born September 11, 1953) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Wet Willie
    20
    7

    Wet Willie

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsBack to Back: At Their Best, Drippin' Wet, Dixie Rock, Wet Willie II, Wet Willie

    Wet Willie is an American band from Mobile, Alabama, U.S. They are best known for their hit... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Jim Nabors
    James Thurston Nabors (June 12, 1930 – November 30, 2017) was an American actor, singer, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Dinah Washington
    20
    8

    Dinah Washington

    Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz

    AlbumsFor Those in Love, A Slick Chick (On the Mellow Side), Dinah '62, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 1, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 2

    Dinah Washington (born Ruth Lee Jones; August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963) was an American... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Big Mama Thornton
    20
    8

    Big Mama Thornton

    Rhythm and blues, Texas blues

    AlbumsSassy Mama, Big Mama Swing, The Original Hound Dog, With Muddy Water's Blues Band, In Europe

    Willie Mae Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984), better known as Big Mama Thornton,... more on Wikipedia

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    #33 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time#874 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 25
    Martha Reeves
    23
    13

    Martha Reeves

    Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsDancing in the Street, In the Midnight Hour, Greatest Hits

    Martha Rose Reeves (born July 18, 1941) is an American R&B and pop singer and former... more on Wikipedia

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