Entertainment The Best New Country Artists  

Ranker Music
12.3k votes 2.2k voters 90.3k views 57 items

List Rules Only country artists who released no more than two studio albums.

Here are the best new country artists making some of the best country songs of 2018. Country music can feel inherently antiquated, given the genre takes pride in adhering to old-fashioned customs and traditions, but this doesn't mean new country singers don't emerge each year.

These trending country artists can bring a whole new perspective to the arena, modernizing country for a new audience, while keeping true to the medium's roots in the simple, timeless things in life. Who are the best new country artists? Browse this list to find out! 

In recent history, new female country singers have emerged to flip the script of the often male-dominated field. At only 24, Kelsea Ballerini has released two acclaimed albums and was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Ashley McBryde - who can count established country icon Eric Church among her supporters - had The New York Times list her song "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" as one of the best songs of 2017.

There are also many rising male country artists, like Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, and Walker Hayes. Other up-and-coming country music groups include Brothers Oborne, LANCO, Delta Rae, and Old Dominion.

Which of these young country singers is the most promising in the genre? Vote your favorites to the top of the list, and add any underrated artists missing from the list.

list ordered by

1
658 175
Luke Combs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Luke Combs Luke Albert Combs (born March 2, 1990) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Combs signed a deal with Sony Music Nashville, and the debut single from This One's For You, ...more

2
494 159
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Country Artists
JoeYanicak added Chris Stapleton is an American country, bluegrass, and rock musician signed to Universal Music Group Nashville. He is an established songwriter. with four number one songs including the 5-week ...more

3
463 193
Kane Brown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Kane Allen Brown (born October 21, 1993) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He first came to the attention of the public through social media. He released his first EP, titled ...more

4
346 135
Cole Swindell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Hope You Get Lonely Tonight, Cole Swindell, Chillin' It Cole Swindell is a songwriter.

5
334 136
Brett Young is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Brett Charles Young (born March 23, 1981) is an American country pop singer and songwriter from Orange County, California. He was a college baseball pitcher but took up songwriting after an ...more

6
329 146
Jon Pardi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Up All Night, Write You a Song Jonathan Ryan "Jon" Pardi is an American country music singer/songwriter signed to Capitol Records Nashville.

7
226 79
Midland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Country Artists
1longjeff added Midland Midland, On the Rocks

8
350 166
Kelsea Ballerini is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Kelsea Nicole Ballerini (born September 12, 1993) is an American country pop singer and songwriter. She is signed to Black River Entertainment, and released her first album The First Time in ...more

9
270 112
Brothers Osborne is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Brothers Osborne Let's Go There Brothers Osborne is an American country music duo consisting of brothers T.J. Osborne (lead vocals) and John Osborne (guitar, background vocals). They are signed to EMI Nashville, for which they ...more

10
281 125
Old Dominion is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Old Dominion Old Dominion is an American five-member country music band formed in Nashville, Tennessee. The band consists of Matthew Ramsey (lead vocals), Trevor Rosen (guitar, keyboards), Whit Sellers ...more

11
273 123
Carrie Underwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Madelyn_G added Blown Away, Carnival Ride, Some Hearts Carrie Marie Underwood is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Underwood has set and broke several records ...more

12
186 69
Dustin Lynch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Madelyn_G added Dustin Lynch, Where It's At, Cowboys and Angels Dustin Charles Lynch is an American country music singer-songwriter.

13
215 101
Chris Janson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Chris Janson is an American country music singer. He has charted two singles on the Billboard country singles charts, and has written songs for Tim McGraw and Justin Moore.

14
219 117
Lauren Alaina is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Road Less Traveled, Wildflower Lauren Alaina (born Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth; November 8, 1994) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and actress from Rossville, Georgia. Alaina was the runner-up on the tenth ...more

15
267 171
Sam Hunt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Sam Lowry Hunt (born December 8, 1984) is an American singer and songwriter. Born in Cedartown, Georgia, Hunt played football in his high school and college years and once attempted to pursue a ...more

16
185 104
Lanco is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Country Artists
LANCO Lanco, stylized as LANCO, is an American country music band consisting of Brandon Lancaster (lead vocals), Chandler Baldwin (bass guitar), Jared Hampton (keyboards), Tripp Howell (drums), and ...more

17
128 62
Maren Morris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Country Artists
EllieGore added Maren Larae Morris (born April 10, 1990) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She has released four studio albums. Her 2015 extended play, Maren Morris, charted ...more

18
162 107
Dylan Scott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Dylan Scott Dylan Scott Robinson (born October 22, 1990 in Bastrop, Louisiana) is an American country music singer and songwriter, better known by his stage name Dylan Scott. Scott is signed to Curb ...more

19
134 89
Michael Ray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Michael Ray Michael Ray is a jazz trumpeter. He has played extensively with Sun Ra and the successor Sun Ra Arkestra under Marshall Allen's direction following Sun Ra's passing. For a period from the ...more

20
145 112
Chris Lane is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Chris Lane Chris Lane (born November 9, 1984) is an American country music singer and songwriter, signed to Big Loud Records and Big Loud Mountain management. Lane released "Girl Problems" in ...more

21
135 108
Walker Hayes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Walker Hayes Walker Hayes - EP Walker Hayes is an American country music singer.

22
117 90
Jordan Davis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Jordan Davis Jordan Davis is an American country music singer signed to Universal Music Group Nashville's MCA Nashville division. He secured a recording contract with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2016. ...more

23
117 93
Carly Pearce is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Carly Pearce Carly Cristyne Pearce (born April 24, 1990) is an American country music singer based in Nashville. Her debut single, "Every Little Thing," peaked at number one on the US Country ...more

24
125 106
Danielle Bradbery is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Danielle Bradbery, The Complete Season 4 Collection (The Voice Performance), Who I Am (The Voice Performance) Danielle Simone Bradbery is an American country singer from Cypress, Texas. She won season four of NBC's The Voice in 2013, becoming the youngest contestant to come in first place. Her debut ...more

25
93 77
Aaron Watson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Country Artists
jimmiejones added Real Good Time, Live at the Texas Hall of Fame, Angels & Outlaws Aaron Watson is a Texas country music singer.