146 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Arkansas

Updated October 20, 2020 1.5k votes 146 voters 6.3k views101 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

  • 1
    Johnny Cash

    Johnny Cash

    Outlaw country, Christian music

    AlbumsAmerican V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison, American Recordings, American III: Solitary Man

    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American... more on Wikipedia

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    The Best Johnny Cash Songs of All TimeThe Best Johnny Cash Albums of All Time

  • 2
    Glen Campbell

    Glen Campbell

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsThat Christmas Feeling, A Glen Campbell Christmas, Home for the Holidays, Glen Campbell Christmas, Merry Christmas

    Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Al Green

    Al Green

    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCall Me, The Christmas Album, White Christmas, Greatest Hits, I'm Still in Love With You

    Albert Leornes Greene (born April 13, 1946), often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Conway Twitty

    Conway Twitty

    Rock and roll, Country

    AlbumsHello Darlin', Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man, The Best of Conway & Loretta, 20 Greatest Hits

    Harold Lloyd Jenkins (September 1, 1933 – June 5, 1993), better known by his stage name Conway... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5


    Rock music, Gothic metal

    AlbumsFallen, My Immortal, The Open Door, Evanescence, Bring Me to Life

    Evanescence ( E(E)V-ə-NESS-ənss) is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Levon Helm

    Levon Helm

    Americana, Rock music

    AlbumsDirt Farmer, The Ties That Bind: The Best of... 1975-1996, American Son, Electric Dirt, Levon Helm

    Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was an American musician and actor who... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Black Oak Arkansas

    AlbumsX-rated, Hot and Nasty: The Best of Black Oak Arkansas, High on the Hog, Black Oak Arkansas, The Wild Bunch

    Black Oak Arkansas is an American Southern rock band named after the band's hometown of Black... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Charlie Rich

    Charlie Rich

    Blue-eyed soul, Country pop

    AlbumsSet Me Free, Behind Closed Doors, Fully Realized, The Very Best of Charlie Rich, The Masters

    Charles Allan Rich (December 14, 1932 – July 25, 1995) was an American country music singer,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9


    Hip hop music, Pop music

    AlbumsBecause of You, In My Own Words, Year of the Gentleman, Heroes, Gentlemanlike 4

    Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1979), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an... more on Wikipedia

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    The Best Ne-Yo Songs of All TimeThe Best Songs Feat. Ne-Yo

  • 10
    Tracy Lawrence

    AlbumsSticks and Stones, I See It Now, Alibis, Time Marches On, Strong

    Tracy Lee Lawrence (born January 27, 1968) is an American country music singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipedia

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    #118 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time#88 of 185 The Best Male Country Singers of All Time

  • 11
    Justin Moore

    AlbumsOff the Beaten Path, Four Letter Blues, Outlaws Like Me, Justin Moore, Point At You

    Justin Cole Moore (born March 30, 1984) is an American country music singer and songwriter,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Jimmie Driftwood

    Jimmie Driftwood

    Pop music, Folk music


    James Corbitt Morris (June 20, 1907 – July 12, 1998), known professionally as Jimmy Driftwood... more on Wikipedia

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    #95 of 99 The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time#84 of 169 Famous Banjo Players

  • 13
    Billy Bob Thornton
    Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Jim Ed Brown

    AlbumsSignature Series, I Don't Want to Have to Marry You

    James Edward Brown (April 1, 1934 – June 11, 2015) was an American country singer-songwriter... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Michael Burks

    Michael Burks

    Blues-rock, Soul blues

    AlbumsFrom the Inside Out, Make It Rain, I Smell Smoke, Iron Man, Show of Strength

    Michael Burks was an American electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Marie Knight

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  • 17
    Joe Nichols

    AlbumsA Traditional Christmas, Greatest Hits, Man With a Memory, Joe Nichols, Real Things

    Joseph Edward Nichols (born November 26, 1976) is an American country music artist. Between... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Lefty Frizzell

    AlbumsGolden Sounds of Country Music, Life's Like Poetry (disc 1), Look What Thoughts Will Do, That's the Way Life Goes: The Hit Songs 1950-1975, The Ultimate Collection

    William Orville "Lefty" Frizzell (March 31, 1928 – July 19, 1975), was an American country... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Ronnie Hawkins

    Ronnie Hawkins

    Rock music, Rockabilly

    AlbumsThe Ballads Of Ronnie Hawkins, Rock & Roll Resurrection/The Giant of Rock & Roll, Ronnie Hawkins, The Hawk, Let It Rock!

    Ronald Hawkins, OC, (born January 10, 1935) is an American rock and roll musician whose career... more on Wikipedia

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    #140 of 221 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album#55 of 58 Old Singers You Didn't Realize Are Still Alive

  • 20
    The Browns

    The Browns

    Folk music, Southern Gospel

    AlbumsThe Three Bells (disc 4), Family Bible, Browns Sing the Big Ones from Country, Sweet Sounds By The Browns, Jim Edward

    The Browns were an American country and folk music vocal trio best known for their 1959... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Peetie Wheatstraw

    Peetie Wheatstraw

    St. Louis blues, Blues

    AlbumsSweet Lucille / Cake Alley, What More Can a Man Do? / Shack Bully Stomp, New Working on the Project / Third Street's Going Down, All Night Long Blues / Numbers Blues, Crapshooter's Blues / Peetie Wheatstraw Stomp

    William Bunch (December 21, 1902 – December 21, 1941), known as Peetie Wheatstraw, was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Hayes Carll
    Joshua Hayes Carll (born January 9, 1976), known professionally as Hayes Carll, is a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Mutha's Day Out

    Mutha's Day Out

    Thrash metal, Rock music

    AlbumsMy Soul Is Wet

    Mutha's Day Out is an alternative metal band formed in November 1991 from the town of... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Soophie Nun Squad

    Soophie Nun Squad

    Punk rock, Funk

    AlbumsPasizzle Slizzles Tha Drizzle, Don't Let Them Take You Alive!, The Devil, The Metal, The Big Booty Beats

    Soophie Nun Squad is a DIY punk rock band from North Little Rock, Arkansas known for their... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    American Princes

    American Princes

    Rock music, Rock and roll

    AlbumsLess and Less, Other People

    American Princes is an indie rock band from Little Rock, AR. The band started in 2003 when... more on Wikipedia