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.
- John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold ...more
- Albert Leornes Greene (born April 13, 1946), often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the ...more
- Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. He was best known for a series of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s, ...more
- Harold Lloyd Jenkins (September 1, 1933 – June 5, 1993), better known by his stage name Conway Twitty, was an American country music singer. He also had success in the rock and roll, R&B, and pop ...more
- Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was an American musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and one of the vocalists for the Band. Helm was known for his deeply ...more
- Evanescence ( E(E)V-ə-NESS-ənss) is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer and pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. After recording independent albums, the band ...more
- Big Bill Broonzy (born Lee Conley Bradley, June 26, 1903 – August 14, 1958) was an American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s, when he played country blues to ...more
- Joseph Edward Nichols (born November 26, 1976) is an American country music artist. Between 1996 and 2001, he held recording contracts with the Intersound and Giant labels. In 2002, he signed with ...more
- William Orville "Lefty" Frizzell (March 31, 1928 – July 19, 1975), was an American country music singer-songwriter and honky-tonk singer. He gained prominence in 1950 after two major hits, and ...more
- 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 released in ...more
- Justin Cole Moore (born March 30, 1984) is an American country music singer and songwriter, signed to Big Machine Records imprint Valory Music Group. For that label, he has released five studio ...more
- Charles Allan Rich (December 14, 1932 – July 25, 1995) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. His eclectic style of music was often difficult to classify, encompassing the ...more
- Iris Luella DeMent (born January 5, 1961) is an American two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter. DeMent's musical style includes elements of folk, country and gospel.
- Junior Walker is a musical artist.
- Joe Purdy is an American singer/songwriter who has released fourteen albums over the last fifteen years. In 2017, Purdy made his acting debut inAmerican Folk.
- Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was an American musician, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of the Jukebox", ...more
- Ronald Hawkins, OC, (born January 10, 1935) is an American rock and roll musician whose career has spanned more than half a century. His career began in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He ...more
- Kristopher Neil Allen (born June 21, 1985) is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Conway, Arkansas, and the winner of the eighth season of American Idol.Prior to Idol, he self-released a ...more
- Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician. Thornton had his first break when he co-wrote and starred in the 1992 thriller One False ...more
- 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 variously worked with ...more
- The Browns were an American country and folk music vocal trio best known for their 1959 Grammy-nominated hit, "The Three Bells". The group, composed of Jim Ed Brown and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie, ...more
- Ben Nichols appeared in the Dreaming in America documentary film.
- Tracy Lee Lawrence (born January 27, 1968) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born in Atlanta, Texas and raised in Foreman, Arkansas, Lawrence began performing at ...more
- James Edward Brown (April 1, 1934 – June 11, 2015) was an American country singer-songwriter who achieved fame in the 1950s with his two sisters as a member of the Browns. He later had a successful ...more