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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

    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

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  • 2

    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

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  • 3

    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

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  • 4

    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

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  • 5

    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

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  • 6

    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

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  • 7

    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

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  • 8

    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

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  • 9

    Charley Pride


    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


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  • 10

    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

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  • 11


    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

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  • 12

    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

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  • 13

    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

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  • 14

    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


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  • 15

    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

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  • 16

    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

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  • 17


    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

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  • 18

    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

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  • 19

    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

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  • 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

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  • 21

    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

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  • 22

    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

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  • 23

    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

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  • 24

    Scott Joplin


    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


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  • 25

    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

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