Music

The Best Folk Artists Of 2020 

Coley Reed
Updated April 30, 2020 351 votes 57 voters 2.8k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the artists and bands whose new releases are defining 2020 folk music.

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Folk 2020 playlist on Spotify!

Here are the best folk artists of 2020. From the most popular Americana and bluegrass groups, to the best indie folk singers and best folk bands of 2020, this list of the top folk artists of 2020 spans all subgenres of good folk music.  Many of the best folk music artists today are folk legends, like the Dixie Chicks and John Prine, but this collection also features the best new folk bands and artists of 2020. For instance, the recently-formed folk supergroup Bonny Light Horseman only recently released their self-titled debut album, which already is poised to be one of the best folk albums of 2020

Who are your favorite folk artists of all time? Which modern bands will record the best indie folk albums of 2020?

Vote up the best folk artists and bands of 2020 below, and be sure to add any that you feel we may have missed.

list ordered by
1
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
John Prine (born October 10, 1946) was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early 1970s until his death in 2020. ...more

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The Best John Prine Songs #137 of 372 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #904 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

2
Leon Bridges is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Todd Michael Bridges (born July 13, 1989) known professionally as Leon Bridges, is an American gospel and soul singer, songwriter and record producer from Fort Worth, Texas. He is best known for ...more
3
Margo Price is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Margo Rae Price (born April 15, 1983) is an American country singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Fader has called her "country's next star." Her debut solo album ...more

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#99 of 158 The Top Female Country Singers #578 of 651 Every Band & Musician Who Has Performed on Saturday Night Live #3 of 28 The Best New Folk Artists Of 2019, Ranked

4
Nathaniel Rateliff is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Nathaniel Rateliff, formerly known as Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel is a 5-piece folk/rock/indie band from Denver, Colorado. Other members of the group include Joseph Pope III, Julie Davis, ...more

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#283 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #227 of 240 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #186 of 329 The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

5
Caamp is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Caamp is an American folk band from Columbus, Ohio, which began as a project between childhood friends Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall, who met at a summer camp in middle school. They later added ...more
6
Yola is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Yolanda Quartey (born in 1984), known as Yola, is an English musician, singer, and songwriter from Bristol, England. She has also gone by the name Yola Carter. Her family was poor and banned ...more
7
The Chicks is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) are an American country pop group composed of singer Natalie Maines and multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Strayer. The ...more

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The Best Dixie Chicks Albums of All Time #48 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names #192 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time

8
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
The Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia. Two of five current members (Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley) are originally from The Shoals region ...more

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#1,112 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #19 of 329 The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time #64 of 180 The Best Country Rock Bands and Artists

9
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Michael Jason Isbell (; born February 1, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Hill, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. He is known for his solo career, his work with the ...more

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#204 of 210 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #1,281 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #510 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

10
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one ...more

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The Best James Taylor Songs of All Time #78 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #259 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

11
Little Big Town is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Little Big Town is an American country music group. Founded in 1998, the group has comprised the same four members since its founding: Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and ...more

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12
Andy Shauf is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Andy Shauf
13
Chris Knight is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Quinn Aldous added
Chris Knight (born June 24, 1960) is an American singer-songwriter from Slaughters, Kentucky. In addition to releasing solo records of his own material, Knight has had a successful career ...more
14
Rayland Baxter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Rayland Baxter
Rayland Baxter is an American alternative country musician from Nashville, Tennessee. He is currently signed to ATO Records. Baxter is the son of musician Bucky Baxter.
15
John Moreland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
John Moreland is an American singer-songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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16
Bonny Light Horseman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Bonny Light horseman is an American folk music supergroup consisting of Tony Award-winner Anaïs Mitchell, Fruit Bats singer Eric D. Johnson, and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (best ...more
17
Rose Cousins is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Rose Cousins
Rose Cousins is a Canadian folk-pop singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, she is currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
18
Joshua Hyslop is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Joshua Hyslop
Joshua Hyslop is a Canadian folk-pop singer-songwriter, currently signed to Nettwerk Records. Originally from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Hyslop released his debut EP, Cold Wind, on Nettwerk ...more
19
Altın Gün is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Altın Gün is an Anatolian rock and Turkish Psychedelic Folk band from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was founded by bassist Jasper Verhulst. Their debut album, On, was released in 2018. In ...more
20
Hamilton Leithauser is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Hamilton Leithauser
Hamilton Leithauser is a member of the musical group, The Walkmen.
21
Sierra Hull is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Sierra Dawn Hull (born September 27, 1991) is an American bluegrass singer-songwriter, mandolinist, and guitarist.Hull was signed to Rounder Records at the age of 13 and released her debut vocal ...more
22
Bedouine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Azniv Korkejian, known by her stage name Bedouine, is a Syrian-American musician. She has lived in a number of cities and countries, including Saudi Arabia, Houston, Syria, and Boston.
23
The Lil Smokies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
The Lil Smokies is a bluegrass band from Missoula, MT consisting of Andy Dunnigan (dobro, vocals), Matthew Rieger (guitar, vocals), Jake Simpson (fiddle, vocals), Scott Parker (bass), and Matt ...more
24
Chuck Prophet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Charles William "Chuck" Prophet is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer. A Californian, Prophet first achieved notice in the American psychedelic/desert rock group ...more
25
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Folk Artists Of 2020
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. Her accolades include five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, ...more

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