Country Music The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time  

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14.2k votes 2.1k voters 125.1k views 59 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?" 

1
880 68
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

2
609 96
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Willie Nelson Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

3
645 75
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Merle Haggard Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country

4
704 59
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
616 111
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
670 101
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
494 70
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
428 95
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
361 102
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
326 80
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
381 113
Jamey Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jamey Johnson Country

12
293 92
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
242 87
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Billy Joe Shaver Outlaw country, Country

14
374 152
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Hank Williams III Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

The Best New Country Artists

15
191 89
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

16
160 46
The Charlie Daniels Band is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time

17
194 76
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Townes Van Zandt Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

18
242 110
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Shooter Jennings Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

19
170 68
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
146 40
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
bcook added Sturgill Simpson

21
109 48
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
DougGlasgow added Ray Wylie Hubbard Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

22
151 86
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
136 91
Tanya Tucker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Tanya Tucker Outlaw country, Country

24
117 60
Lefty Frizzell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Lefty Frizzell Country

25
122 32
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
ravi2 added Chris Stapleton Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

26
83 44
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Robert Earl Keen Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

27
75 12
Cody Jinks is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
TuckerKennedy added Cody Jinks

28
58 46
Tompall Glaser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Tompall Glaser Country

The Best Country Songs Of 2018

29
65 16
Dwight Yoakam is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Dwight Yoakam Rockabilly, Country rock, Country

30
56 36
Dale Watson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Dale Watson Country

31
97 83
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

32
52 45
Jason Boland & The Stragglers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Jason Boland & The Stragglers Red Dirt, Country

33
82 82
Rosanne Cash is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Rosanne Cash Rock music, Folk music, Country

34
211 190
Eric Church is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Eric Church Outlaw country, Country rock, Country

35
32 4
Whitey Morgan and the 78's is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Aaron Fowler added Whitey Morgan and the 78's Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Alternative country

The Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

36
130 138
Aaron Lewis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
JackMackenzie added Aaron Lewis Nu metal, Acoustic music, Post-grunge

37
49 46
Cross Canadian Ragweed is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Cross Canadian Ragweed Americana, Red Dirt, Country rock

38
33 34
Nikki Lane is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Mandros added Nikki Lane

39
39 46
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
30 13
Bobby Bare is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Bobby Bare Country

41
24 7
Colter Wall is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Alex Dawes added Colter Wall

42
8 22
Carlene Carter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Carlene Carter Country

Country Singers with Diabetes

43
65 77
Scott H. Biram is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Scott H. Biram Rock music, Punk rock, Country

44
12 28
Lindi Ortega is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Mandros added Lindi Ortega Folk music, Acoustic music, Alternative rock

45
25 59
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
15 12
Junior Brown is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Junior Brown Americana, Progressive country, Alternative country

47
12 36
Roger Creager is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Roger Creager Country

48
13 34
JD McPherson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
pam-parkerson added JD McPherson

49
21 45
Mike Ness is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
hellodalai added Mike Ness Punk blues, Psychobilly, Rockabilly

50
15 14
Kinky Friedman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
egghead added Kinky Friedman