Music
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The Best Musical Artists From Texas

Updated March 6, 2021 19.5k votes 1.3k voters 34.1k views119 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.

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    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Blues-rock, Rock music
    Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer,...  more

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    The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time#76 of 489 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • 2
    313
    86

    Willie Nelson

    Outlaw country, Americana
    Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor,...  more

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    Insane Willie Nelson Stories That Are 100% True#110 of 359 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • 3
    367
    117

    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music
    Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy...  more

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    296
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    George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter,...  more

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    The Best George Strait Albums of All Time#314 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • 5
    295
    89

    ZZ Top

    Blues-rock, Boogie rock
    ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has, since 1970,...  more

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

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    194
    62

    Roy Orbison

    Country pop, Pop music
    Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and...  more

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    213
    80

    Waylon Jennings

    Outlaw country, Country rock
    Waylon Arnold Jennings (pronounced ; June 15, 1937 – February 13, 2002) was an American...  more

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    The Best Waylon Jennings Albums of All Time#211 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

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    278
    125

    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music
    Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues...  more

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

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    122
    43

    Charley Pride

    Country
    Charley Frank Pride (March 18, 1934 – December 12, 2020) was an American singer, musician,...  more

    More 

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

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    146
    62
    George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and...  more

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    The Best George Jones Albums of All Time#3 of 215 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

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    131
    56

    Freddie King

    Blues-rock, Rock music
    Freddie King (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976) was an American blues guitarist and...  more

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    209
    116

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music
    Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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    #85 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#9 of 44 The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

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    130
    56

    Kenny Rogers

    Country pop, Pop music
    Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was a retired American singer,...  more

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

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    151
    74

    The Crickets

    Lubbock sound, Rock and roll
    The Crickets are an American rock and roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by...  more

    More 

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

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    106
    40

    Barry White

    Disco, Rhythm and blues
    Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003), better known by his stage name Barry...  more

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

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    200
    115

    Pantera

    Glam metal, Thrash metal
    Pantera () was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas. The group was formed in...  more

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    #8 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time#669 of 1,019 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

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    133
    63

    Kris Kristofferson

    Outlaw country, Rock music
    Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer-songwriter and actor....  more

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    115
    54

    Boz Scaggs

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul
    William Royce "Boz" Scaggs (born June 8, 1944) is an American singer, songwriter, and...  more

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    The Best Boz Scaggs Albums of All Time#56 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

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    107
    50

    Gene Autry

    Western music, Country
    Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), nicknamed The Singing...  more

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

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    91
    38

    Townes Van Zandt

    Outlaw country, Folk music
    John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), better known as Townes Van Zandt, was...  more

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    #728 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#180 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

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    Lemon Henry "Blind Lemon" Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929) was an American...  more

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

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    143
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    Don Henley

    Pop music, Rock music
    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record...  more

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    The Best Don Henley Albums of All Time#33 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

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    96
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    Lyle Lovett

    Americana, Country pop
    Lyle Pearce Lovett (born November 1, 1957) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record...  more

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    The Best Lyle Lovett Albums of All Time#165 of 227 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

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    69
    24

    Freddy Fender

    Rock music, Country
    Freddy Fender (born Baldemar Garza Huerta; June 4, 1937 – October 14, 2006) was an American...  more

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

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    85
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    Scott Joplin

    Ragtime
    Scott Joplin (c. 1867/68 or November 24, 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American composer and...  more

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    #112 of 368 The Best Classical Composers#115 of 156 The Greatest Pianists Ever