Johnny Cash, the American singer, songwriter and actor, was known for sorrow, moral suffering and redemption themes in his music. His genre was country, rock and roll, blues, folk and gospel sounds and he is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Cash had issues with drinking and drug abuse. Later he was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease.
Kenny Rogers was an American singer-songwriter. He is among the best-selling musicians of all-time list, having sold over 100 million records. His songs and albums remain influential among country music lovers. A multi-talented personality, Rogers was also successful as an actor and entrepreneur; he was the co-founder of the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain of restaurants.
Troyal Garth Brooks is an American singer-songwriter. Having sold over 170 million records worldwide, Brooks is one of the best-selling musicians in the world. He is also the best-selling solo albums musician in the US. Also known for his charitable activities, Garth Brooks established the Teammates for Kids Foundation in 1999, which provides financial support to charities for kids.
A nine-time Grammy Award nominee, Blake Shelton is a popular American country music singer. Described as one of the biggest stars of country music over the past decade, Blake Shelton was made an Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee in 2014. Prominent singer-songwriters, such as Sheryl Crow, have named Blake as their inspiration. Blake Shelton is also a well-known philanthropist.
An accomplished musician and one of the most popular names of the late 20th century American country music, Willie Nelson garnered fame with his albums Shotgun Willie, Red Headed Stranger, Stardust and Always on My Mind. The multiple Grammy award winning musician, who continues to record even today, has also appeared in numerous films and authored a number of books.
Four-time Grammy-winner Keith Urban had already tasted success in Australia, before making his American debut with a platinum-certified solo album. He knows how to play a variety of instruments, including the sitar, guitar, piano, and mandolin. His track Somebody Like You was named Billboard’s greatest country hit of the 2000s.
Lionel Richie is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and composer whose work with the band Commodores and his solo career established him as a successful balladeer of the 1980s. Having sold more than 90 million records, Lionel Richie is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a philanthropist, Richie helped raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
12 Vince Gill
Vince Gill is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. He currently holds the record for the most number of Grammy Awards won by a male country music artist with 22 awards under his belt. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Vince Gill also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kris Kristofferson is a popular singer-songwriter and actor. Over the years, Kris has played a major role in the success of many famous singers, having contributed to their musical albums as a songwriter. For his achievements in the field of music, Kris Kristofferson was made a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in 2004.
14 Buddy Holly
Musician and singer-songwriter Buddy Holly was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. Born to a musical family, he learned to sing and play the guitar as a child. He began his career as a teenager and found much success within a short period. Sadly, he died in an aircraft crash when he was just 22 years old.
Five-time Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton is best known for hits such as Parachute. He has also co-written tracks such as Kenny Chesney's Never Wanted Nothing More. Before going solo, he was part of the bands The SteelDrivers and The Jompson Brothers. His music blends country with bluegrass and soul.
16 Kane Brown
An American singer and songwriter, Kane Brown first came into prominence as a social media celebrity, thereby inspiring several social media users all over the world. In 2017, he became the first artist whose music peaked at number one positions on all five principal Billboard country charts simultaneously.
17 Robert Plant
Regarded as one of the most influential music artists of all time, Robert Anthony Plant was the lead singer and song writer of the extremely successful rock group Led Zeppelin. After the band disbanded, the Grammy award winning artist, with his powerful and wide vocal range, established a successful solo career. He has also collaborated with other artists and bands.
Billy Ray Cyrus’s song Achy Breaky Heart was the first triple-platinum single in Australia. Its music video made the line dance a trend. Billy has eight top-10 Billboard Hot Country charters. His debut album, Some Gave All, spent the longest time by any debut artist on Billboard 200.
Musician Hank Williams is widely considered one of the most influential and significant American singer-songwriters of the 20th century. Hank Williams influenced several singers, such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, and Charley Pride to name a few. Since his untimely death at the age of 29, many artists have released tribute albums honoring Hank Williams.
20 Roy Orbison
21 Barry Gibb
A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees is known for his versatility. Barry ranks second on the Guinness World Records list of successful songwriters and has gifted his fans cult classics of pop/disco music of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Stayin’ Alive.
Keith Whitley was an American singer whose career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 34. Before his death, due to alcohol intoxication, Whitley recorded two albums, which spawned 12 chart-busting singles. His third and final studio album was released posthumously.
23 Luke Combs
Luke Combs is an American singer-songwriter. The two studio albums, which he has released so far, have produced nine number-one songs on Billboard's Country Airplay chart. In his relatively short country music career so far, Luke Combs has had a major impact by winning prestigious awards, such as Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.
24 Tim McGraw
Country music singer, songwriter, and actor George Strait is regarded as one of the most influential recording artists of all time. Lovingly nicknamed the "King of Country", he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is certified as the 12th-best selling artist in American history. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
26 Thomas Rhett
Country singer Thomas Rhett, son of singer Rhett Akins, has delivered countless chartbusting tracks such as Crash and Burn, Unforgettable, and It Goes Like This. The Grammy-nominated singer has also won honors such as the BMI Award, the Billboard Music Award, and the Academy of Country Music Award.
Jimmy Buffett is an American musician, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and businessman. Buffett, who owns the Margaritaville Cafe chain of restaurants, is one of the richest musicians in the world. Also known for his charity work, Jimmy Buffett is credited with founding a non-profit group called Save the Manatee Club, which works towards the conservation of manatees.
30 John Prine
Dwight Yoakam is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actor. He is credited with popularizing honky tonk music, which he pioneered. In 2014, his song Guitars, Cadillacs was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest country songs list. Yoakam has also starred in several films, such as Sling Blade, Panic Room, and The Minus Man.
Brad Douglas Paisley is an American singer-songwriter. One of the most decorated male country music singers of the current generation, Paisley has won multiple American Music Awards, Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, and Academy of Country Music Awards. Brad Paisley is also known for his skills as a guitarist and one particular model of guitar is named after him.
34 Buck Owens
35 John Corbett
John Corbett is an American actor. Widely recognized for his distinctive hairstyle, Corbett himself is a licensed hairstylist as he attended hairdressing classes before becoming an actor. Apart from being an actor, John Corbett is also a successful singer whose debut self-titled album peaked at number 45 on Top Country Albums chart.
Hank Williams Jr. is a musician and singer-songwriter. Although he initially gained fame for imitating his father Hank Williams' style, he later established his own style, winning several awards like Grammy Awards. In 2017, he was included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time list. In 2020, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
39 Mel Tillis
40 Toby Keith
Toby Keith is a record producer, country music singer, songwriter, and actor. He is credited with founding a record label named Show Dog Nashville which was renamed Show Dog-Universal Music in 2009 after merging with Universal South Records. Also a philanthropist, Keith supports many non-profit organizations like Ally's House. In 2021, he was honored with the National Medal of Arts.
Sturgill Simpson is an American actor and country music singer-songwriter. Often compared to Waylon Jennings, Simpson has recorded some critically-acclaimed albums, such as Metamodern Sounds in Country Music and A Sailor's Guide to Earth. Sturgill Simpson's journey from being a drug peddler, who experimented with LSD during high school, to becoming a famous musician is quite inspiring.
43 Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed was an American guitarist, country music singer, songwriter, composer, and actor. He won three Grammy Awards and two Country Music Association awards during his illustrious career. In 2017, he was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Jerry Reed was also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.
44 Eric Church
Country singer Townes Van Zandt is remembered for his melancholy and lyrical tracks. His hits such as Pancho and Lefty and To Live Is to Fly have influenced many artists of subsequent generations. He struggled with depression and spent a considerable part of his life in cheap shacks and motels.
46 George Jones
George Jones was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Renowned for his distinctive voice and phrasing, George Jones was widely regarded as the greatest living country singer during the last 20 years of his life. Jones is also remembered for staying painstakingly loyal to country music throughout his life. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992.
47 Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins is an American country singer renowned for his bass-baritone singing voice. Adkins has recorded many studio albums that have received platinum or gold certification in the US. A multi-talented personality, Adkins also appears on TV and writes books; his autobiography was released in 2007. He is also a member of a non-profit organization called 'Sons of Confederate Veterans'.
48 Charlie Rich
49 Gram Parsons
50 Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis is an American singer, musician, and songwriter. He is credited with founding the rock band Staind where he also serves as the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. Also known for his philanthropic efforts, Aaron Lewis works closely with a non-profit organization called It Takes a Community.