Country Music The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time  

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18.8k votes 2.7k voters 134.3k views 60 items

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

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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
1,115 90
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
823 98
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country

3
879 79
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

4
756 130
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

5
757 143
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
823 126
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
619 87
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
543 117
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

9
459 133
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
423 101
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
465 147
Jamey Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Country

12
379 126
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

13
306 108
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

14
445 191
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

15
226 63
The Charlie Daniels Band is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time

16
255 95
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

17
239 122
Jessi Colter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Pop music, Country

18
229 85
Jerry Jeff Walker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

19
220 71
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
bcook added

20
291 145
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

21
149 68
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
175 115
Tanya Tucker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Country

23
182 111
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

24
193 63
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
ravi2 added Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

25
142 31
Cody Jinks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time
TuckerKennedy added