Music
1.3k voters

The Best Musical Artists From Texas

Updated June 8, 2021 19.9k votes 1.3k voters 35.4k views121 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in Texas or bands formed in Texas.

Here are the best artists and bands from Texas. Everything's bigger in Texas. Apparently, that also applies to the fame of some of the biggest artists in music over the years. Beyoncé and Willie Nelson are more than just some of the best musical artists from Texas. They are the best musical artists in the entire world, and they are only the tip of some of the singers and bands that got their start in the Lone Star State. 

Pop icons like Jessica Simpson and Demi Lovato first crooned their way to success for Texan audiences before finding fame on a larger scale. Some of the heaviest acts in rock have also come out of Texas. Pantera, The Mars Volta, ZZ Top, and plenty of other bands played smaller gigs in Austin, Houston, and Dallas before touring the rest of the United States. Texas has a massive population, so it only makes sense for at least a few global superstars to have been born and raised within its borders. Other popular Texas artists include Destiny's Child, Nelly, Khalid, and the Dixie Chicks. 

The most famous Texas musical artists span through every genre and era. No matter what type of music you like, there will be artists on this list you keep in regular rotation. Take your time reading through this list and voting for your favorites.

  • 1
    782
    142

    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsCouldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying

    Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, and one of the most influential guitarists in the revival of blues in the...  more

    More Stevie Ray Vaughan 

    The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time#183 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 2
    323
    91

    Willie Nelson

    Outlaw country, Americana

    AlbumsHeroes, Pretty Paper, Countryman, Last of the Breed, The Red Headed Stranger

    Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, producer, author, poet, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined...  more

    More Willie Nelson 

    Insane Willie Nelson Stories That Are 100% True#92 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 3
    374
    122

    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music

    AlbumsBuddy, 20 Golden Greats, What You Been A-Missin': What You've Been A-Missin', The Buddy Holly Story, That'll Be The Day

    Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s...  more

    More Buddy Holly 

    What Actually Happened The Day The Music Died?#442 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 4
    306
    90

    AlbumsPure Country, The Road Less Traveled, Merry Christmas Strait to You, Fresh Cut Christmas, Merry Christmas Wherever You Are

    George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. George Strait is known as the "King of Country" and is considered one of the...  more

    More George Strait 

    The Best George Strait Albums of All Time#78 of 243 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 5
    302
    92

    ZZ Top

    Blues-rock, Boogie rock

    AlbumsTres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud, Greatest Hits, Fandango!

    ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has, since 1970, consisted of vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons (the band's leader, main lyricist and musical arranger),...  more

    More ZZ Top 

    The Best ZZ Top Songs of All Time#50 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

  • 6
    200
    65

    Roy Orbison

    Country pop, Pop music

    AlbumsThe Essential Roy Orbison, King of Hearts, Mystery Girl, Crying, The Orbison Way

    Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ballads....  more

    More Roy Orbison 

    The Best Roy Orbison Albums of All Time#89 of 185 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

  • 7
    217
    82

    Waylon Jennings

    Outlaw country, Country rock

    AlbumsDreaming My Dreams, A Man Called Hoss, Good Hearted Woman, White Mansions - A Tale of the American Civil War 1861-1865, This Is Country

    Waylon Arnold Jennings (pronounced ; June 15, 1937 – February 13, 2002) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. In 1958, Buddy Holly arranged Jennings's first recording session, and hired...  more

    More Waylon Jennings 

    The Best Waylon Jennings Albums of All Time#218 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

  • 8
    281
    129

    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsPearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, The Essential Janis Joplin

    Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues singer-songwriter, and one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era. After releasing...  more

    More Janis Joplin 

    The Tortured, Painful Life of Janis Joplin, The Baddest Woman In Rock History#4 of 29 Members of The 27 Club

  • 9
    122
    43

    Charley Pride

    Country

    AlbumsThere's a Little Bit of Hank in Me, Christmas in My Home Town, Best of the Best: Inducted into the Hall of Fame 2000, Charley Pride's Greatest, Comfort of Her Wings

    Charley Frank Pride (March 18, 1934 – December 12, 2020) was an American singer, musician, guitarist, business owner, and former professional baseball player. His greatest musical success came in the...  more

    More 

    The Best Charley Pride Albums of All Time#14 of 45 The Best Country Singers with Deep Voices

  • 10
    151
    64

    AlbumsEssential George Jones: The Spirit of Country, Let's Build A World Together, A Picture of Me (Without You), We Go Together, Famous Country Duets

    George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He achieved international fame for his long list of hit records, including his best known...  more

    More George Jones 

    The Best George Jones Albums of All Time#5 of 200 The Best Male Country Singers of All Time

  • 11
    221
    120

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music

    AlbumsDreaming of You, Amor Prohibido, The New Girl in Town, Preciosa, Momentos intimos

    Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions...  more

    More Selena 

    #83 of 497 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#14 of 24 People Are Sharing The Celebrity Death That Hit Them Hardest And We're Already Crying

  • 12
    133
    58

    Kenny Rogers

    Country pop, Pop music

    AlbumsChristmas, Once Upon a Christmas, Christmas in America, Christmas From the Heart, Christmas Greetings

    Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was a retired American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.Though he...  more

    More Kenny Rogers 

    The Best Kenny Rogers Albums of All Time#178 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

  • 13
    134
    59

    Freddie King

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsI Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready..., Live at the Electric Ballroom, 1974, King of the Blues

    Freddie King (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976) was an American blues guitarist and singer. He recorded several hits for Federal Records in the early 1960s. His soulful and powerful voice and...  more

    More Freddie King 

    The Best Freddie King Albums of All Time#146 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

  • 14
    152
    75

    The Crickets

    Lubbock sound, Rock and roll

    Albums20 Golden Greats, The "Chirping" Crickets, That'll Be The Day, In Style with the Crickets, From Original Masters

    The Crickets are an American rock and roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by singer/songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. Their first hit record was "That'll Be the Day", released in 1957. The...  more

    More 

    #2 of 36 The Best Bands Named After Bugs#53 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

  • 15
    109
    43

    Barry White

    Disco, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCan't Get Enough, Una serata con, Back to Back: Their Greatest Hits, In Your Wildest Dreams, Adagio - Your Heart And Soul

    Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003), better known by his stage name Barry White, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and composer. A three-time Grammy...  more

    More Barry White 

    The Best Barry White Albums of All Time#62 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • 16
    136
    64

    Kris Kristofferson

    Outlaw country, Rock music

    AlbumsKristofferson, Full Moon, A Star Is Born, Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos 1968-72, The Silver Tongued Devil and I

    Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Among his songwriting credits are the songs "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin'...  more

    More Kris Kristofferson 

    The Best Kris Kristofferson Songs#103 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever

  • 17
    203
    121

    Pantera

    Glam metal, Thrash metal

    AlbumsVulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, Reinventing the Steel

    Pantera () was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas. The group was formed in 1981 by the Abbott brothers—drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell—along with lead vocalist Terry...  more

    More Pantera 

    #5 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time#245 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

  • 18
    95
    38

    Townes Van Zandt

    Outlaw country, Folk music

    AlbumsThe Late Great Townes Van Zandt, A Far Cry From Dead, For the Sake of the Song, Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971 - 1972, Delta Momma Blues

    John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), better known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American singer-songwriter. He wrote numerous songs, such as "Pancho and Lefty", "For the Sake of the...  more

    More Townes Van Zandt 

    #160 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?#732 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands Of All Time

  • 19
    118
    57

    Boz Scaggs

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul

    AlbumsMiddle Man, My Time, Silk Degrees, Other Roads, Down Two Then Left

    William Royce "Boz" Scaggs (born June 8, 1944) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is known for his albums of the late 1970s as well as the songs "Lido Shuffle" and the Grammy...  more

    More Boz Scaggs 

    The Best Boz Scaggs Albums of All Time#191 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 20

    AlbumsComplete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 4: 1929, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order

    Lemon Henry "Blind Lemon" Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929) was an American blues and gospel singer-songwriter and musician. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s...  more

    More Blind Lemon Jefferson 

    #580 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time#12 of 125 The Most Famous Blues Guitarists

  • 21
    108
    51

    Gene Autry

    Western music, Country

    AlbumsHis Christmas Album, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Classics, A Gene Autry Christmas, Blues Singer 1929-1931, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), nicknamed The Singing Cowboy, was an American singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who gained fame largely by...  more

    More Gene Autry 

    #49 of 162 The Greatest Western Movie Stars#193 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time

  • 22
    147
    86

    Don Henley

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsThe End of the Innocence, Building the Perfect Beast, I Can't Stand Still, End of the Innocence, Dirty Laundry

    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and founding member of the Eagles. He was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from...  more

    More Don Henley 

    The Best Don Henley Albums of All Time#806 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 23
    72
    24

    Freddy Fender

    Rock music, Country

    AlbumsMerry Christmas / Feliz Navidad, Rock 'n' Country, Before the Next Teardrop Falls, La Música de Baldemar Huerta, The Texas Balladeer

    Freddy Fender (born Baldemar Garza Huerta; June 4, 1937 – October 14, 2006) was an American Tejano, country and rock and roll musician, known for his work as a solo artist and in the groups Los Super...  more

    More Freddy Fender 

    #30 of 145 The Best Country Singers From Texas#104 of 110 Celebrities Who Were In The Military

  • 24
    90
    39

    Scott Joplin

    Ragtime

    AlbumsScott Joplin: The Easy Winners & Other Rag-Time Music / André Previn: A Different Kind of Blues, Original Rags, Greatest Hits, Scott Joplin's Greatest Hits, Scott Joplin Piano Favourties (feat. piano: William Conley)

    Scott Joplin (c. 1867/68 or November 24, 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the King of Ragtime. During his...  more

    More 

    #114 of 368 The Best Classical Composers#113 of 156 The Greatest Pianists Ever

  • 25
    97
    48

    Lyle Lovett

    Americana, Country pop

    AlbumsStep Inside This House, I Love Everybody, It's Not Big It's Large, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Pontiac

    Lyle Pearce Lovett (born November 1, 1957) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. Active since 1980, he has recorded 13 albums and released 25 singles to date, including his...  more

    More Lyle Lovett 

    The Best Lyle Lovett Albums of All Time#166 of 230 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters