bands/musicians The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time  

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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
739 50
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Waylon Jennings Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

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2
545 58
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Merle Haggard Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country

3
508 77
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Willie Nelson Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

4
589 48
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

5
518 88
Hank Williams, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Hank Williams, Jr. Outlaw country, Country rock, Country

6
559 90
David Allan Coe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
David Allan Coe Outlaw country, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
415 52
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Hank Williams Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music

8
358 75
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Johnny Paycheck Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

9
310 86
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Kris Kristofferson Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

10
278 65
Charlie Daniels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Charlie Daniels Outlaw country, Rock music, Country rock

11
320 94
Jamey Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jamey Johnson Country

12
257 71
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Steve Earle Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

13
315 121
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Hank Williams III Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

14
209 75
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Billy Joe Shaver Outlaw country, Country

15
170 71
Jessi Colter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jessi Colter Outlaw country, Pop music, Country

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16
220 93
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Shooter Jennings Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

17
131 35
The Charlie Daniels Band is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time

18
159 64
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Townes Van Zandt Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

19
144 60
Jerry Jeff Walker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jerry Jeff Walker Outlaw country, Country

20
96 21
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
bcook added Sturgill Simpson

21
115 74
Tanya Tucker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Tanya Tucker Outlaw country, Country

22
121 71
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Emmylou Harris Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

23
101 48
Lefty Frizzell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Lefty Frizzell Country

24
73 35
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
DougGlasgow added Ray Wylie Hubbard Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

25
57 36
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Robert Earl Keen Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

26
46 36
Tompall Glaser is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Tompall Glaser Country

27
61 19
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
ravi2 added Chris Stapleton Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

28
81 73
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

29
39 28
Dale Watson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Dale Watson Country

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30
41 33
Jason Boland & The Stragglers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jason Boland & The Stragglers Red Dirt, Country

31
179 152
Eric Church is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Eric Church Outlaw country, Country rock, Country

32
69 68
Rosanne Cash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Rosanne Cash Rock music, Folk music, Country

33
38 32
Cross Canadian Ragweed is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Cross Canadian Ragweed Americana, Red Dirt, Country rock

34
104 117
Aaron Lewis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
JackMackenzie added Aaron Lewis Nu metal, Acoustic music, Post-grunge

35
21 22
Nikki Lane is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Mandros added Nikki Lane

36
25 7
Dwight Yoakam is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Dwight Yoakam Rockabilly, Country rock, Country

37
4 8
Carlene Carter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Carlene Carter Country

38
19 3
Cody Jinks is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
TuckerKennedy added Cody Jinks

39
26 36
Pistol Annies is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
hellodalai added Pistol Annies Outlaw country, Folk, Country

40
14 3
Bobby Bare is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Bobby Bare Country

41
55 67
Scott H. Biram is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Scott H. Biram Rock music, Punk rock, Country

42
9 25
JD McPherson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
pam-parkerson added JD McPherson

43
6 20
Lindi Ortega is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Mandros added Lindi Ortega Folk music, Acoustic music, Alternative rock

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44
9 29
Roger Creager is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Roger Creager Country

45
21 53
Sammi Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Sammi Smith Outlaw country, Country pop, Country

46
26 54
Toby Keith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Esavi added Toby Keith Country

47
15 37
Mike Ness is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
hellodalai added Mike Ness Punk blues, Psychobilly, Rockabilly

48
8 7
June Carter Cash is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added June Carter Cash Country

49
7 6
Junior Brown is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Junior Brown Americana, Progressive country, Alternative country

50
103 175
Brantley Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
JackMackenzie added Brantley Gilbert Rock music, Country rock, Country