Music

The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas  

Ranker Music
298 votes 32 voters 100 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in Arkansas or bands formed in Arkansas..

Here are the best artists and bands from Arkansas. Like most other southern states, Arkansas has produced a lot of country music stars over the years. Many of the artists coming out of the state have also dabbled with rockabilly and bluegrass. It is clear music is an integral part of Arkansas' DNA. This is likely why former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was noted on the campaign trail for playing the saxophone. The best musical artists from Arkansas are diverse and eclectic, and it may surprise some of you to see who is on this list. 

Some of the most influential musicians of all time were either born or raised in the Natural State. Johnny Cash, one of the most revered country stars who ever lived, was born in Kingsland. Later in life, Cash was inspired by his family's struggled during the Great Depression as they tried to carve out lives for themselves in Arkansas. Other popular Arkansas artists include Al Green, Evanescence, Ne-Yo, and Conway Twitty. 

How many of these artists do you listen to on a regular basis? Vote for your favorite singers and bands (even heavy metal bands) on this list of the most famous Arkansas musical artists. All music fans will find someone they like right here. 

list ordered by
1
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana
John R. "Johnny" Cash was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as ...more
2
Evanescence is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock
Evanescence is an American rock/metal band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. After recording independent albums, the band released their ...more
3
Glen Campbell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music
Glen Travis Campbell is an American country music singer, guitarist, television host, and occasional actor. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a ...more
4
Al Green is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music
Albert "Al" Greene, often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an American singer best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Tired of Being ...more
5
Ne-Yo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B
Shaffer Chimere Smith, known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Ne-Yo gained fame for his song-writing abilities when he ...more
6
Conway Twitty is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock and roll, Country
Conway Twitty was an American musician and singer. He had success in the country, rock, R&B, and pop genres. He held the record for the most number one singles of any act, with 40 No. 1 ...more
7
Justin Moore is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
Justin Cole Moore is an American country music singer and songwriter signed to Big Machine Records imprint Valory Music Group. For that label, he has released three studio albums — his self ...more
8
Tracy Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
Tracy Lawrence is an American country music artist. He started at a country music restaurant called "Live At Libby's" where owner Libby Knight would help local talent find their way ...more
9
Ronnie Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock music, Rockabilly, Rhythm and blues
Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins is a rockabilly musician whose career has spanned more than half a century. Though his career began in Arkansas, US, where he'd been born and raised, it was in ...more
10
Charlie Rich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Blue-eyed soul, Country pop, Pop music
Charles Rich was an American country music singer and musician. His eclectic style of music was often hard to classify in a single genre, encompassing the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and ...more
11
American Princes is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock music, Rock and roll, Indie rock
American Princes is an indie rock band from Little Rock, AR. The band started in 2003 when David Slade, then-bassist John Beachboard and drummer Matthew Quin moved to Little Rock from New York ...more
12
Michael Burks is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Blues-rock, Soul blues, Electric blues
Michael Burks was an American electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his tracks, "I Smell Smoke" and "Hard Come, Easy Go", and ...more
13
Jimmie Driftwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Pop music, Folk music, Country
James Corbitt Morris, known professionally as Jimmy Driftwood or Jimmie Driftwood, was a prolific American folk music songwriter and musician, most famous for his songs "The Battle of New ...more
14
Louis Jordan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Jump blues, Ska, Rock music
Louis Thomas Jordan was a pioneering American musician, songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of the ...more
15
Cedell Davis is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Delta blues
CeDell Davis is an American blues guitarist and singer. Davis is most notable for his distinctive style of guitar playing. Davis plays guitar using a table knife in his fretting hand in a manner ...more
16
Grandpa Jones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Old-time music, Bluegrass, Gospel music
Louis Marshall Jones, known professionally as Grandpa Jones, was an American banjo player and "old time" country and gospel music singer. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of
17
Collin Raye is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
Floyd Elliot Wray is an American country music singer, known professionally as Collin Raye, and previously as Bubba Wray. Under the latter name, he recorded as one-fourth of the band The Wrays ...more
18
Joe Nichols is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
Joseph Edward "Joe" Nichols is an American country music artist. Between 1996 and 2001, Nichols held recording contracts with the Intersound and Giant labels. In 2002, he signed with ...more
19
Point of Grace is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Contemporary Christian music, Country
Point of Grace is an all-female Contemporary Christian music group. The trio consists of Shelley Breen, Denise Jones, and Leigh Cappillino. The group started out as a quartet in 1991, with ...more
20
K.T. Oslin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
Kay Toinette "K. T." Oslin is an American country music singer and songwriter. She is known for a series of top-ten country hits during the late 1980s and early 1990s, four of which ...more
21
Soophie Nun Squad is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Soophie Nun Squad Punk rock, Funk
Soophie Nun Squad is a DIY punk rock band from North Little Rock, Arkansas known for their jubilant stage performances which typically include costumes, puppet shows, and a large amount of crowd ...more
22
Black Oak Arkansas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock music
Black Oak Arkansas is an American Southern rock band named after the band's hometown of Black Oak, Arkansas. The band reached the height of its fame in the 1970s with ten charting albums ...more
23
The Paper Hearts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
The Paper Hearts Indie rock
The Paper Hearts is a Southern Indie rock band that was formed in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2001 by Todd Gill and Aaron Weidner. After coming up with a few songs, Michelle Hedegard was brought ...more
24
Jonah33 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Rock music, Christian rock, Alternative metal
Jonah33 was a Christian hard rock band from Arkansas, US. They released three full-length albums before disbanding in late 2009.
25
Ed Bruce is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas
Country
William Edwin "Ed" Bruce, Jr. is an American country music songwriter and singer. He is known for penning the 1975 song "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" ...more