The Best of 2018 The Best New Country Artists  

Ranker Music
10.3k votes 1.8k voters 71.9k views 46 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
510 147
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
395 138
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
366 155
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
279 115
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
278 119
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
289 127
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
300 147
Kelsea Ballerini is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
233 103
Old Dominion is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
220 95
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
168 65
Midland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Country Artists
1longjeff added Midland Midland, On the Rocks

11
220 108
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
146 54
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
183 86
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
190 101
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
229 145
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
152 86
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
99 43
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
135 88
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
112 79
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
127 97
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
117 91
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
111 91
Danielle Bradbery is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
95 79
Jordan Davis is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
79 66
Aaron Watson is listed (or ranked) 24 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.

25
92 84
Carly Pearce is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
102 96
Ashley McBryde is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Ashley McBryde Ashley McBryde is a country music singer-songwriter from Arkansas. Her song "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" was named one of the 54 Best Songs of 2017 by The New York Times. McBryde's ...more

27
99 96
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Madelyn_G added Breakaway, Stronger, My December Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer and songwriter. In 2002, she rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol, and has since been established as "The Original ...more

28
83 79
Morgan Evans is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Morgan John Evans (born 24 April 1985) is an Australian country music singer and songwriter. He released a self-titled debut studio album in March 2014, which peaked at number 20 on the ARIA ...more

29
77 76
Russell Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Russell Dickerson (born May 7, 1987) is an American pop country music singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. He earned a degree in music from Belmont University and signed with Creative ...more

30
68 73
William Michael Morgan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Country Artists
jimmiejones added William Michael Morgan

31
35 34
Drake Hayes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Country Artists
BP$$ added Drake Hayes

Drake Hayes Band  Popular country sound from the heart of West Texas featuring original hits Nowhere Texas and Blood Red Moon. Drake Hayes, John Williams, Robbie Coleman, Tyler York 

DrakeHayesBand.com

32
67 81
Devin Dawson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Devin Dawson is an American country music singer-songwriter. He became famous after filming a mashup of Taylor Swift songs with his fellow friend Louisa Wendorff on her YouTube channel, which ...more

33
61 79
Jon Langston is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Jon Langston Jonathan Thomas "Jon" Langston (born April 8, 1991) is an American country musician from Loganville, Georgia. He released an extended play, Showtime, with Treehouse Records, in 2015. ...more

34
92 128
Jessie Chris is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Jessie Chris (born 1998 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American country musician who was named 2018 BillBoard Artist To Watch and TODAY Show Artist of The Month. On April 14, 2017 she released ...more

35
60 83
Ashley Campbell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Ashley Campbell Ashley Campbell (born December 8, 1986) is an American country music singer and songwriter. She is the daughter of Glen Campbell and his fourth wife Kimberly Woollen. In 2016, Campbell was ...more

36
45 81
Tyler Childers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Tyler Childers Tyler Childers (born June 21, 1991) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He released his breakout album titled Purgatory in August 2017. The album was produced by Sturgill Simpson ...more

37
47 95
Maggie Rose is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Cut to Impress, I Ain't Your Mama Maggie Rose Durante is an American country music singer signed to Scott Siman's RPM Entertainment. In 2009, Durante signed to Universal Republic as Margaret Durante and released a cover of Kings ...more

38
33 74
Jillian Jacqueline is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Jillian Jacqueline Jillian Jacqueline is an American country singer-songwriter. In 2001, she formed the Little Women Band with her sisters, but dropped out to enroll at Philadelphia University. In 2016, she signed ...more

39
28 66
Kalie Shorr is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Kalie Shorr Kalie Shorr (born July 11, 1994) is an American country music singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2016, her debut single "Fight Like a Girl" began to receive national ...more

40
32 78
Delta Rae is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Delta Rae Carry the Fire, Delta Rae, Chasing Twisters Delta Rae is an American folk rock band formed in Durham, North Carolina. The band consists of three siblings Ian Hölljes, Eric Hölljes and Brittany Hölljes, as well as Elizabeth ...more

41
24 69
Brown & Gray is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Brown & Gray Brown & Gray is a U.S.-U.K. Country-Pop duo based in Nashville, London, and Los Angeles. The band is composed of singer/songwriters Kaci Brown and Sam Gray. Sam and Kaci first started ...more

42
25 71
Ben Gallaher is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Ben Gallaher Ben Gallaher (born March 26, 1992) is a country music singer/songwriter and recording artist from Pennsylvania. Gallaher is signed to a record deal with Sony Music Nashville. During a semester ...more

43
5 27
Sophia Scott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Sophia Scott added Sophia Scott

44
29 81
Taylor Acorn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Taylor Acorn Taylor Acorn is an American country music singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania. She started posting cover songs to YouTube before opening for country artists, like Chase Bryant and Adam Craig.

45
23 72
Haley & Michaels is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Haley & Michaels Haley & Michaels is an American country music duo composed of Shannon Haley and Ryan Michaels, both born in California. They released an extended play, Haley & Michaels, independently on ...more

46
14 75
Ruby Boots is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Country Artists
Ruby Boots Ruby Boots (née Rebecca Louise "Bex" Chilcott) (born October 20, 1981) is an Australian singer-songwriter who sings Americana music. In 2016, Boots played at the Americana Music ...more