Music

The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time 

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Updated November 5, 2019 27k votes 3.7k voters 153.2k views 56 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
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
2
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
3
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
4
David Allan Coe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
5
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
6
Hank Williams, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
7
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
8
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
9
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
10
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
11
Charlie Daniels is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
12
Jamey Johnson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
13
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
14
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
15
The Charlie Daniels Band... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
16
Jerry Jeff Walker is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
17
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
18
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
19
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
20
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
21
Jessi Colter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
22
Tanya Tucker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
23
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
24
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
25
Lefty Frizzell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time