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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Brinegar

Top 7

Country Music Singers


Top 7 Country Music Singers

There are so many fantastic country music singers out there – from the classics to the greatness of 90s country, and today – and I had a really difficult time narrowing it down to just 7. So, I’m skirting the rules just slightly and breaking it down into female and male artists.


Let’s get to the rankings!


7. Patty Loveless

Y’all, I agonized over this list and I can’t believe the great Patty Loveless is all the way back at seven but I rechecked my rankings and I think I have it pretty close to perfect. The past year Patty was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame with another talented lady on my list and she more than deserves it. She has about 40 songs in her library that battle it out for her top hit in my book. These are a few of my favorites…


Favorite Songs: I Try to Think About Elvis, Blame It On Your Heart, Jealous Bone, You Don’t Seem to Miss Me

 

7. Tracy Lawrence/Tracy Byrd

Maybe I’m cheating again but a tie for 7th between the Tracys seemed too perfect to pass up. Growing up I got these two guys completely mixed up. They don’t sound alike but they share a first name, are from Texas, wear cowboy hats, and sing good country music.


Favorite Songs: Time Marches On, Nothing But the Taillights, That’s How a Cowgirl Says Goodbye, Don’t Take Her She’s All I Got

 

6. Julie Roberts

If y’all don’t know who this is (not the actress) I encourage you to stop right here and look up her music.  She is a terrific female vocalist, dripping with soul. She first came out in 2003 and raced onto the scene with Breakdown Here. Why she isn’t winning female vocalist every year is beyond me. My best guess is she’s too country for country radio these days. And she’s still putting out fantastic songs like Music City is Killing Me.


Favorite Songs: Breakdown Here, Whiskey and You, Chasing Whiskey, Men and Mascara, Rain on a Tin Roof, Wake Up Older

 

6. Randy Travis

A country music legend! He has one of those voices that immediately puts you at ease. A sweet baritone and a staple of the genre since the 1980s. I didn’t come to fully appreciate his music until more recently but I’m a big fan now! Though Randy suffered a stroke in 2013, he recently got his voice back with the help of AI, which in this instance, I think is awesome.


Favorite Songs: 1982, On the Other Hand, Three Wooden Crosses, Forever and Ever Amen

 

5. Tanya Tucker

Like Patty Loveless, Tanya was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year (finally!). She started her career as a 13-year-old belting out Delta Dawn better than any adult and is still winning Grammys five decades later for While I’m Livin’. I had the pleasure of seeing her in concert and at the Grand Ole Opry and she is an entertainer in every sense of the word. I’m a huge fan of the '90s-‘00s stage of her career, probably because it was my soundtrack growing up.


Favorite Songs: Texas When I Die, Walking Shoes, Some Kind of Trouble, Down to My Last Teardrop, It’s a Little Too Late.

 

5. Aaron Watson

Y’all might not be familiar with this next artist but Aaron Watson is huge around these parts. He is a Texas artist on an independent label. The first album I heard from him was Vaquero around 2017 and I was an immediate fan. If you’re looking for a place to start listening, there isn’t a single miss in those 16 songs. And for backstory on his career, check out Fence Post.


Favorite Songs: Outta Style, That's Why God Loves Cowboys, These Old Boots Have Roots, One Two Step at a Time

 

4. Sunny Sweeney

I’ve been a huge fan since the first time I heard the iconic guitar intro of Staying’s Worse than Leaving. This song came out when country radio played mostly male artists singing about drinking at the lake in their pickup. The Bro Country movement (like it or not) meant there was very little variety. Sunny Sweeney was a breath of fresh air. She’s pure country and classic honkytonk.  I’ve seen her in concert twice and highly recommend! She sounds exactly like the album version and her between-song commentary is hilarious. I think the world is missing out on not giving Sunny Sweeney a television show.


Favorite Songs: Bad Girl Phase, Table Away, Easy as Hello, Bottle By My Bed, Better Bad Idea, Body in a Boxcar, Nothing Wrong with Texas

 

4. Josh Turner

I vividly remember the first time I heard Long Black Train. Some kids watched Saturday morning cartoons but I turned on the TV to GAC. For those of y’all who don’t remember, the channel used to play country music-themed shows before it became a competitor to Hallmark and rebranded to GAF. Well, back in the day they ran their top countdown of music videos and that’s where I first heard Josh Turner. The steel guitar, deep voice, and sepia aesthetic of the video sucked me in and I’ve been a fan since. Josh has stayed true to his country roots and recently came out with a fantastic tribute album.


Favorite Songs: Your Man, Would You Go With Me, Why Don’t We Just Dance, Firecracker, Loretta Lynn’s Lincoln, Another Try

 

3. Lee Ann Womack

Another Texas artist… do you sense a theme? 😊 I love virtually every song she’s ever recorded. She has a powerful, sweet voice that would excel in any genre but works especially well in country music. A lot of people know her for her biggest hit I Hope You Dance but my favorite songs are some of her less-known tracks like Buckaroo or You've Got to Talk to Me.


Favorite Songs: I’ll Think of a Reason Later, I May Hate Myself in the Morning, Last Call, The Fool, Don’t Listen to the Wind, Montgomery to Memphis

 

3. Merle Haggard

If you wondered if my list was skewed too much to the 90s-now, here’s a classic vocalist that I love! Mighty Merle had one of the best voices in country music history and was a fantastic songwriter to boot. And his immense talents spilled over into an ability to mimic other artists. (Check out his spot-on Johnny Cash and Buck Owens impressions if you’re looking for a laugh).


Favorite Songs: Mama Tried, Fightin’ Side of Me, The Bottle Let Me Down, Silver Wings, The Fugitive, Sing Me Back Home

 

2. Shania Twain

Nobody in the 90s was bigger than Shania Twain (bold statement, I know). She hit superstardom when I was a toddler and she was a huge part of my childhood. I was just starting to become aware of music and develop my own taste. Her music is such a unique blend of country fiddle with rock guitar and uniquely Shania. I still know every word of every song. The first CD I bought with my own money was UP!


Favorite Songs: Any Man of Mine, No One Need to Know, Whose Bed, Man I Feel Like a Woman, Don’t Be Stupid, Rock this Country, That Don’t Impress Me Much.

 

2. Alan Jackson

You can’t make a list of great country singers without this quiet giant. He roared onto the scene in ‘The Class of ‘89’ and I think he’s the valedictorian of the group. Garth Brooks had the higher peak but retired early, Clint Black had the hotter start, but Alan Jackson has 30+ years of hits and keeps getting better.


Favorite Songs: Gone Country, Don’t Rock the Jukebox, Mercury Blues, Chattahoochee, Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning, Dallas, Good Time, So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore

 

1. Patsy Cline

"They listen to Patsy Cline everywhere." – Kate Austen in Lost 

Patsy is one of those artists who is loved regardless of the genre of music you listen to. She could sing the phonebook and I would listen. Her voice is pure, powerful, and transcends time. Country music in the 1960s was sometimes too heavy on the orchestra format (the Nashville sound) except for Patsy. She made it work because her voice was more powerful than the orchestra. Nothing outshined her voice.


Favorite Songs: If You’ve Got Leaving On Your Mind, Crazy, Back in Baby’s Arms, Walkin’ After Midnight, I Fall to Pieces, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Foolin’ Around, He Called Me Baby, South of the Border

 

1. George Strait

Surprised? I doubt it. If you’ve been with me for a while, you probably guessed my all-time favorite country music artist is the King himself. In the 1980s George Strait singlehandedly saved country music with a cowboy hat and a crooked grin. You won’t catch him dancing on stage or flying from the rafters on a bungee cord. You’ll find him centerstage holding a guitar, playing a few chords, and singing stone-cold country music.


Like Lee Ann Womack said in a tribute song written to George, “No you'll never change. Just stand there and sing. That's all we need. The way you tell a story, Makes it easy to believe.”

I think that perfectly sums up what we love about George Strait. He’s authentic. He doesn’t need any tricks. He’s just plain cool and always will be. And the man has 60 number-one hits! And hopefully, 61 by the end of the summer if MIA Down in MIA can get some play.


Favorite Songs: Amarillo By Morning, Give it Away, Troubadour, Murder on Music Row, Take Me to Texas, Write This Down, All My Exes Live in Texas, Beyond the Blue Neon, We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This, That’s How the Cowboy Rides Away.



Top 7 Female Country Music Singers


Top 7 Male Country Music Singers

 


Thank you for reading this week's Top 7 List!

I hope you enjoyed and are adding some new artists to your playlist.


Did I leave out one of your favorites?

Comment below with your Top 7 Country Singers.


*Tip: Log-in with your Google account so you'll be notified when I respond. And yes, I do respond to every comment.


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4 comentarios


Invitado
16 jun

Cool list and spans eras too. Interesting how your favorites are a mix of hugely famous (Strait, Twain), artists the rest of the world should know more about (Watson, Sweeney), and two you could argue are among the all-time top five (Haggard, Cline). I can't disagree with any of your list.

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Brittany Brinegar
Brittany Brinegar
16 jun
Contestando a

I love that breakdown of the list! I didn't pick up on that.

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Dwayne Keller
Dwayne Keller
16 jun

You a need for the top 7 groups - Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Statler Brothers, Diamond Rio, Sawyer Brown. I know there are more but I'm drawing a blank.

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Brittany Brinegar
Brittany Brinegar
16 jun
Contestando a

Groups/duos is a nice addition! Little Big Town and The Band Perry come to mind. If you include duos, I'd add The Judds, Brooks & Dunn, and The Wreckers.

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