Music

The Top Country Artists of All Time 

Samantha Dillinger
Originally by
Updated March 27, 2020 212.2k votes 9.5k voters 165.5k views 332 items

List Rules Only country singers or bands. No other genres

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Country 2020 playlist on Spotify!

One of the most distinct and popular American art forms is country music. The origins of country music began in mostly rural areas as simply a person's words sung over an acoustic guitar. From that simple formula rose folk heroes who eventually became cultural icons. The top country music artists of all time are some of the most revered figures in music history. This poll of the greatest country musicians spans from classic country to contemporary country music - from Nashville to Texas.  

The biggest country artists have had their lives immortalized both in their records and in film. Johnny Cash is a prime example of a country artist who has appealed to people from every walk of life. On top of the 2005 movie made about him, the Man in Black released 55 albums and six albums, working tirelessly until his death in 2003. Willie Nelson is one of the living legends in country music. He continues to tour and entertain fans throughout the country even as he get older. He loves touring and fans loves going out to see him sings his vast catalog of hits. 

There are a lot of great names on this Ultimate List of the Top Country Artists of All Time. Many of these musicians are extremely popular with fans and critically acclaimed. So it's up to you to decide who deserves to be named the best country music artist ever.

list ordered by
1
George Strait is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America
2
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Country rock & Progressive country; Nationality: United States of America
3
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound & Country; Nationality: United States of America
4
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Western music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
5
Alan Jackson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country and Neotraditional country; Nationality: United States of America
6
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Americana & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America
7
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Christian music & Americana; Nationality: United States of America
8
Alabama is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
9
Loretta Lynn is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Honky-tonk, Alternative country & Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America
10
George Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America
11
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Ballad, Country pop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
12
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Swing music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America
13
Hank Williams, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Country rock & Country; Nationality: United States of America
14
Reba McEntire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country pop, Country rock & Country; Nationality: United States of America
15
Vince Gill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
hwy60 added Genre: Blue-eyed soul, Country pop & Bluegrass; Nationality: United States of America
16
Dwight Yoakam is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Rockabilly, Country rock & Country; Nationality: United States of America
17
Conway Twitty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Rock and roll and Country; Nationality: United States of America
18
Brooks & Dunn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
19
Charley Pride is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America
20
Don Williams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Country rock & Country; Nationality: United States of America
21
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Christian music, Folk music & Progressive bluegrass; Nationality: United States of America
22
Brad Paisley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Americana, Rock music & Country rock; Nationality: United States of America
23
Buck Owens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Bakersfield sound and Country; Nationality: United States of America
24
Garth Brooks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Country pop, Rock music & Country rock; Nationality: United States of America
25
Randy Travis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top Country Artists of All Time
Genre: Gospel music, Country & Neotraditional country; Nationality: United States of America