Country Music The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time  

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15.9k votes 2.3k voters 128.6k views 61 items

List Rules Only outlaw country artists, there shouldn't be any country pop singers on here

This outlaw country artists list ranks the best outlaw country music acts by votes. Outlaw country is widely regarded as one of the most influential subgenres of country music. Originating as a backlash to the slicked up country pop that emanated from Nashville, the best outlaw country singers are some of the most popular country music artists of all time. Outlaw country songs are raw and generally address topics like authority and anti-authority. The scruffy, gruffer tone along with the realism that gave a new voice to the voiceless made outlaw country singers beloved. These famous outlaws and their songs still influence much of modern country music. Though their initial sound and message is often replicated, outlaw country is the backbone of country music and what they've done can never be duplicated.


So, who are the best outlaw country artists? Any list of outlaw country singers has to include rebels like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams. These singers are widely considered the cream of the crop, and when you think of outlaw country you generally will think of these artists. If you know outlaw music, you know that these outlaw country songs still live on - even in the case of some of these guys' deaths - because now more than ever, their words still strike a chord with listeners.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best outlaw country singers. If you know any underground or new outlaw country music that demands to be heard, feel free to add them if you think they're the best.
This list answers the questions "who are the best outlaw country bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest outlaw country musician ever?" 
list ordered by

1
989 75
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

2
721 82
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country

3
669 109
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

4
774 72
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

5
675 125
Hank Williams, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country rock, Country

6
734 110
David Allan Coe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
542 76
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music

8
475 106
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

9
402 113
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

10
363 87
Charlie Daniels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Rock music, Country rock

11
405 130
Jamey Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Country

12
324 106
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

13
271 95
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

14
404 163
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

15
187 54
The Charlie Daniels Band is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time

16
212 103
Jessi Colter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Pop music, Country

17
216 83
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

18
195 74
Jerry Jeff Walker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

19
262 122
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

20
167 51
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
bcook added

21
124 55
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
DougGlasgow added Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

22
165 91
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

23
152 98
Tanya Tucker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

24
134 65
Lefty Frizzell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Country

25
141 43
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
ravi2 added Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

26
98 53
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

27
87 20
Cody Jinks is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
TuckerKennedy added

28
89 23
Dwight Yoakam is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Rockabilly, Country rock, Country

29
70 51
Tompall Glaser is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Country

30
62 44
Dale Watson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Country

31
103 91
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

32
91 87
Rosanne Cash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Country

33
57 53
Jason Boland & The Stragglers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Red Dirt, Country

34
138 148
Aaron Lewis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
JackMackenzie added Nu metal, Acoustic music, Post-grunge

35
218 205
Eric Church is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country rock, Country

36
53 54
Cross Canadian Ragweed is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Americana, Red Dirt, Country rock

37
38 11
Whitey Morgan and the 78's is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Aaron Fowler added Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Alternative country

38
43 17
Bobby Bare is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Country

39
34 41
Nikki Lane is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Mandros added

40
43 54
Pistol Annies is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
hellodalai added Outlaw country, Folk, Country

41
31 14
Colter Wall is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Alex Dawes added

42
20 5
Travis Tritt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
James Huskarl Russell added Country

43
11 28
Carlene Carter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Country

44
23 18
Junior Brown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Americana, Progressive country, Alternative country

45
66 83
Scott H. Biram is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Rock music, Punk rock, Country

46
22 19
Kinky Friedman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added

47
23 21
June Carter Cash is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Country

48
28 66
Sammi Smith is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country pop, Country

49
8 5
Ed Bruce is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
James Huskarl Russell added Country

50
13 41
JD McPherson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
pam-parkerson added