Music

The Best Musical Artists From Texas 

Ranker Music
Updated June 8, 2020 11.5k votes 863 voters 15.8k views 116 items

List Rules Only 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.

list ordered by
1
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Instrumental rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying, + more

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 ...more

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The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time #80 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #177 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

2
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Lubbock sound, Rock music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America

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

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 ...more

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What Actually Happened The Day The Music Died? #79 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #514 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

3
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Outlaw country, Americana & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Heroes, Pretty Paper, Countryman, Last of the Breed, The Red Headed Stranger, + more

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), ...more

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Insane Willie Nelson Stories That Are 100% True #7 of 269 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #172 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

4
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Pearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, The Essential Janis Joplin, + more

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 ...more

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The Tortured, Painful Life of Janis Joplin, The Baddest Woman In Rock History #65 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Everlisted on Members of The 27 Club

5
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas

Albums: Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud, Greatest Hits, Fandango!, + more

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

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The Best ZZ Top Songs of All Time #131 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #4 of 119 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time

6
George Strait is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Pure Country, The Road Less Traveled, Merry Christmas Strait to You, Fresh Cut Christmas, Merry Christmas Wherever You Are, + more

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 ...more

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The Best George Strait Albums of All Time #364 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #409 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

7
The Crickets is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
The Crickets

Albums: 20 Golden Greats, The "Chirping" Crickets, That'll Be The Day, In Style with the Crickets, From Original Masters, + more

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 ...more

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#152 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #48 of 320 The Best Bands With Animal Names #128 of 277 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

8
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Outlaw country, Country rock & Progressive country; Nationality: United States of America

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

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 ...more

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The Best Waylon Jennings Albums of All Time #425 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #553 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

9
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Country pop, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Essential Roy Orbison, King of Hearts, Mystery Girl, Crying, The Orbison Way, + more

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 ...more

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The Best Roy Orbison Albums of All Time #21 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #443 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

10
Freddie King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: I Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready..., Live at the Electric Ballroom, 1974, King of the Blues, + more

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 ...more

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The Best Freddie King Albums of All Time #70 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #238 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

11
George Jones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

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

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 ...more

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The Best George Jones Albums of All Time #358 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #231 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

12
Charley Pride is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Charley Pride Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: There'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, + more

Charley Frank Pride (born March 18, 1934) is an American singer, musician, guitarist, business owner, and former professional baseball player. His greatest musical success came in the early to ...more

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The Best Charley Pride Albums of All Time #16 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time #15 of 214 The Best Male Country Singers of All Time

13
Boz Scaggs is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul & Disco; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Middle Man, My Time, Silk Degrees, Other Roads, Down Two Then Left, + more

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 ...more

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The Best Boz Scaggs Albums of All Time #67 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #425 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

14
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas

Albums: Vulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, Reinventing the Steel, + more

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 ...more

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#239 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #851 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #256 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

15
Gene Autry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Western music and Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: His Christmas Album, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Classics, A Gene Autry Christmas, Blues Singer 1929-1931, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, + more

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 ...more

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#191 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time #873 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #172 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

16
Blind Lemon Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 4: 1929, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, + more

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 ...more

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#317 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #817 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 252 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

17
Selena is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Mexican cumbia, Pop music & Latin American music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Dreaming of You, Amor Prohibido, The New Girl in Town, Preciosa, Momentos intimos, + more

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 ...more

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#66 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #372 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #428 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

18
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Outlaw country, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Kristofferson, 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, + more

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 ...more

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The Best Kris Kristofferson Movies #23 of 269 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #321 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

19
Kenny Rogers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Country pop, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Christmas, Once Upon a Christmas, Christmas in America, Christmas From the Heart, Christmas Greetings, + more

Kenneth Ray Rogers (born August 21, 1938) is a retired American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.Though he has been ...more

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The Best Kenny Rogers Songs of All Time #400 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #347 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

20
Ernest Tubb is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Honky-tonk and Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Waltz Across Texas, Merry Texas Christmas You All, Golden Favorites, Country Hit Time, On Tour, + more

Ernest Dale Tubb (February 9, 1914 – September 6, 1984), nicknamed the Texas Troubadour, was an American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music. His biggest career hit ...more
21
Scott Joplin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Scott Joplin Genre: Ragtime; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Scott 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), + more

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 ...more

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#135 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #67 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #102 of 177 The Greatest Pianists Ever

22
Gary Clark, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Blues-rock, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Blak and Blu, iTunes Session, Gary Clark Jr., The Bright Lights EP, The bright lights - Australian tour edition

Gary Lee Clark Jr. (born February 15, 1984) is an American musician from Austin, Texas. He is best known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul music with elements of hip hop. In 2011 Clark ...more

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The Best Gary Clark Jr. Albums, Ranked #162 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #98 of 252 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

23
The Big Bopper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Rock music, Rockabilly & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Chantilly Lace, Hellooo Baby! The Best of the Big Bopper, 1954-1959, Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor / Chantilly Lace, Chantilly Lace Starring the Big Bopper, + more

Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959), known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician, songwriter, and disc jockey. His best known compositions ...more

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#121 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,257 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #140 of 364 The Greatest American Rock Bands

24
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Outlaw country, Folk music & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The 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, + more

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", ...more

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#224 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #147 of 231 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #309 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time

25
Barry White is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Texas
Genre: Disco, Rhythm and blues & Soul music; Nationality: United States of America

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

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 ...more

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The Best Barry White Albums of All Time #225 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #301 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time