Best Country Singers of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Johnny Cash Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. He died of ...read more.

The most imposing and influential artist in the history of country music. He created his own genre, consisting of the blunt emotional honesty of folk, the rebelliousness of rock & roll, and the world-weariness of country. When it comes to country music, Johnny Cash stands alone at the very top and will remain there as long as this old world keeps on turning.

Johnny has billions of good songs and is far better than all Taylor Swifts teenage heartbreak songs about whoever she just dated.

I totally agree with the great man being selected at number one, but having said that there are a number of singers in this group of twenty that could easily tie for second and some not even mentioned such as Johnny Horton, Cowboy Jack Clement, Jim Reeves, Ferlin Husky, Bill Anderson for example. Bottom line is that it is purely personal opinion. Each and every one of all mentioned have their great talents. The sad part of country music today is that it hasn't got the heart and sole that it once had and all the greats have either just about retired or passed away. Country music just isn't true country any more. As I stated before, this is pure personal opinion.

I don't know what the world would do without him

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2 George Strait

He is the king there will only be one george strait and no one can top his voice git-r-done george

I've been raised since I was a baby on George Strait and many other country singers. Alan Jackson, I'd have to say is my next favorite singer ever, but no one beats George Strait. No one. If someone were to ask me what I think the best George Strait song of all time is, then my answer would be either, "Amarillo By Morning", "Love Without End, Amen", "I Cross My Heart", or "Heartland (Main Tile Sequence)". Gotta' love the King of Country.

The best of all time! The most genre specific number one hits of any singer, and he didn't rely on flash like many people on this list. Everything he made was incredible from heart breaking love songs (I cross my heart, the man in love with you, I can still make Cheyenne) to Friday night honey tonk drinking music (twang, here for a good time).

Most #1's of any country artist #nuffsaid

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3 George Jones

George Jones was the best pure singer. Every note and word felt authentic and he had a beautiful voice. His singing was as smooth as silk and his phrasing is innovative and captivating. I bet if you asked most of the singers on this list who was the best singer, they'd pick George Jones. Many of them did. Johnny Cash had a stock answer to that oft-asked question, "Who is your favorite singer? " "You mean," he teased, "apart from George Jones? " George Jones was also highly respected outside of country music. Frank Sinatra said that Jones was the second best singer in the world (Sinatra thought Tony Bennett was the best).

George Jones deserves to be at the top of this list! His voice alone deserves that. I'm sure George Strait himself would say that. In fact when George Jones inducted George Strait into the Country Music Hall of Fame he said, "George you're the king. Johnny Cash loved George as well. Also, I love George Strait, Carrying Your Love With Me, Unwound, and Write this Down are all great songs! I also really love Johnny Cash, Get Rhythm, Boy Named Sue, Big River, and I Walk the Line are all great songs! I just believe George Jones's wonderful voice deserves to be at the top of this list.

It's only fitting that the best country song in history was performed by the best true country artist of all time. George's songs have the ability to integrate into a person's soul and open his heart to all that the song conveys.

No one has the vocal range of George Jones.

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4 Merle Haggard Merle Haggard

Johnny Cash was most influential, and deserves a top spot, but I'd vote Merle as the absolute best country singer. Best voice hands-down, excellent songwriting. A master at half notes and key changes. I greatly admire Johnny Cash, George Jones and George Strait, but Merle was the best. His influence on country music (and music in general) will be reflected upon for generations..

Sorry but Taylor Swift is to Haggard what Bieber is to Sinatra, the best singer and songwriter in country (if not all American music) by a long long way. I don't even particularly like country as a genre but Merle is the complete package.

The Hag is the poet laureate of country music. His writing is superb and transports you to his world of song with each verse and chorus. An example is Silver Wings, here Hag wrote a song that has no verse. It is Chorus, Bridge, Solo, Chorus, end. Nobody can pull that off but The Hag. No writer in Nashville would dare even try that. Country music is where it is today because of the gift The Hag brings to the world.

Merle is the greatest country music artist of all time, hands down.

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5 Waylon Jennings

Waylon, the official ground break in country music. He has his own style unlike any other. More recordings and releases than anyone but George Jones, which could be the only possible singer in front of Waylon. Sure Johnny Cash was awesome, but if he hadn't recorded his last album on his death bed he would not have been as popular with the young listeners and probably deserve the 5th spot. You can't take anything away from Hank Sr. except for having passed at the tender age of 27. It is mostly young people doing these voting's and how could they understand that Taylor Swift after a few years couldn't possibly make an all time list?

Waylon was a giant among men. He changed country music (for the good) forever. He didn't fight the system for anything other than the right to play his music his way. He payed a very high price for standing up to the powers that be in Nashville. Waylon Jennings was a modern day David against Nashville playing the part of Goliath. I am certain no one else on this list sang with the passion Waylon did. His music had him and that's a quote from the man himself.

One of a kind singer who's career spans from the 58 to 01. Stood the test of time with ballads to hard core country, from a gentleman to an outlaw. Some of the best beats to even a simple strumming. Much more versatile from his voice to his instruments than Johnny Cash ever possibly could have been. George Jones probably deserves the number one spot, but Waylon has always been my favorite.

Could you imagine Waylon had played by Nashville’s rules (with an image & etiquette consultants)? Having the intellect to understand the difference between an artist and karaoke style music, Waylon refused to become another “Nashville Puppet” or “Industry Employee”. He said it best in one line “We Need A Change” in his song Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.
Todays karaoke singers and industry employees are a dime a dozen, Thank God for Waylon!

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6 Hank Williams Hank Williams Hiram King "Hank" Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His band were called "The Driftin' Cowboys"

Short career probably hurt hanks rating. Nobody can put the heart and soul into a song like Hank

Simply the best from "Nobody's lonesome for me" to "Your cheating heart".

Hank to me was the founder of country music and the roots of all honky-tonk.

Hank... the person who pretty much INVENTED the original country,
later to be added by greats like cash

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7 Garth Brooks Garth Brooks Troyal Garth Brooks, known professionally as Garth Brooks, is an American country pop singer-songwriter.

I put Garth at #1. The lyrics and music to his songs are so meaningful. Nothing beats If Tomorrow Never Comes and the Dance. Most of today's performers sound alike and look alike with no "heart" in their songs.

This man has such a big impact on my life, he seems to write songs that everyone could relate to and many sings could ever do that. His songs get to me even the odd time a shead a tear listening to some of his songs they just mean so much to me. Hands down the best country singer that has ever walked the face of this earth. Its great to see to that he is coming back to Ireland!

Without doubt the reason I love country music, my personal no1.
Seen him in Vegas last year and he was inspirational, I hope he tours again I would love to see him in all his glory.

Garth number 1 best selling artist of all time.

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8 Willie Nelson Willie Nelson

Gotta admire a guy who has been one of the top country artists for over forty years in a musical career that began over a half century ago, and to top it off, like myself, he is a connoisseur of the finest herb.

His might not be the most conventionally beautiful nor does it have the most polished but his voice is the greatest in music. It is raw and it is natural. George jOnes said that he tried to bring forth memories that made him feel the way his narrator felt, Willie doesn't have this technique but he has the same finished product, a voice that portrays all the emotion his song has to convey. Add that to some of the most perfect lyrics in music (I'm looking at you, you were always on my mind) and there is no beating it.

This guy goes beyond incredible. His 1978 album Stardust, where he did updated versions of classic songs from the thirties and forties is the best concept album I've ever heard. When you look up musical genius in the dictionary, Willie's picture should be beside it. This is a very intelligent top ten, everyone absolutely deserves to be there. Could've used a woman, though, perhaps Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, or Dolly Parton.

Smoke that there weed Willie SMOKE IT

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9 Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson is one of the most respected country music singers there is today, but he could also very well be the most underrated one as well. Garth Brooks always got the limelight is one of the most respected country music singers there is today, but he could also very well be the most underrated one as well. Garth brooks always got the light despite being absent for 13 years and winning entertainer of the year 2016, simply by putting out one album. Other artist have rose to fame packaging a different product with the title country music when it is not. Alan Jackson has been the purest country singer in the past 30 years, even George Strait has had his last couple albums take a different mainstream sound too them his last couple albums take a different mainstream sound too long. He makes it work, but Alan Jackson has never wavered from his country road he makes it work, but Alan Jackson has never wavered from his country roots despite pressure from Nashville. Alan Jackson, Has been ...more

Alan Jackson Deserves to be #3 on this list. He is the best country singer to come out in the past 30 years bar none. And I might add, the only one not playing gunsel country.

He's one of my favorite country singers aside from Garth brooks, George Straight, Tim Mcgraw, and Don Williams. I'm just a teen but I want country musics because of them. Alan Jackson's songs has a beautiful message and you can fathom it clearly because of his clear voice when he sing...one of the best and real country singers!

My daughter and I saw Alan Jackson at the Bell County Expo last night, and his music is clearly pure country, heartfelt and real. My daughter grew up listening to his popular tunes in the 90's, and we had a convesation on the the way to the concert wondering if Alan Jackson is one of the top country singers of all time. There's several great country singers on here "of all time", but I would definitely rate Alan Jackon in the top 5 of country singers in the last 30 years. His song "Where Were You" brings everyone together, we ALL remember where we were. It brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it.

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10 Conway Twitty

Conway should be way up further in the votes: only George Strait has beat him in number one hits of all time if George Strait had to compete against the same musicians that Conway did for his number ones George Strait would not have nearly as many number one hits as he has

He was a wonderfully kind and generous person as well as remarkably good performer and singer at Christmas time he opened up his home to come to see the Christmas lights and was always ready to help someone out with their music career a remarkable man. And will always be remembered.

Conway twitty was the best country singer of all times... He was the most handsome man that ever lived and also when alive was the sexiest man alive... No one else could even touch him... He was just simply the best...

His rank as '10' on this list shows the sheer ignorance of 'country music lovers' today.. I'm sorry but Conway was a better artist than some of the wannabes above him in this list..
My personal opinion is that the top 5 country artists of all time are 'Conway, Johnny Cash, Palsy Cline, Ray Price and Marty Robbins'

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The Contenders

11 Tim McGraw Tim McGraw Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw is an American singer, songwriter and actor. He has been married to singer Faith Hill since 1996, and is the son of the late baseball player Tug McGraw. McGraw has released fourteen studio albums.

I must say, Tim McGraw is definitely one of my favorite country singers of all time!. He is a noble christian, a devoted husband and father, and even has a remarkable wife with the same soothing voice. He is also a wonderful actor as well as an artist. If you haven't heard any of his songs, I highly suggest you do.

First things first. If you don't like the guy to post a comment about him being bad moron and you look especially like a jackass because your completely wrong. Everything about Tim McGraw is fantastic in my opinion. The only possible thing bad is that he doesn't write his own songs but he has a couple he co wrote which is fine. Tim McGraw is fantastic end of story.

Saw he and Faith live, and they were both amazing. Tim has the best voice in country music, and I think he has stayed quite faithful to country music, and helped bring in a new audience.

Amazing singer with a great voice!

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12 Don Williams

No singer puts more emotion into each word than he does. His songs are timeless.

One of the finest singers of Country music. Best Friend is always a pleasure to listen.

He the best country music artist in the world and every One enjoy his music.

All time best country musician

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13 Marty Robbins

If you actually compare the quality of their voices, no one comes close to Marty Robbins. He had perfect control as well as the most beautiful tone to his voice. If you want to know how good an artist is, take away all the instruments and electronic support and listen to just the voice. That's where Marty Robbins stands heads above all the rest.

Marty's voice was so beautiful, his songwriting talents are so often overlooked. Marty wrote many great songs and some of the best country songs of all time: Big Iron, White sport coat, my woman my wife, you gave me a mountain, don't worry, devil woman and of course "El Paso. Marty Robbins the "Legend "

Any one who knows a whit about music would put Marty Robbins at no. 1 on the list. His voice was beautiful, he knew how to emote, phrase, write; I could go on and on! Marty had class! When he walked on stage, he was mesmerizing right off the bat! George Jones? Come on; he could't carry Marty's music! Marty could sing with an orchestra as well a a lone guitar because he had a voice that stood on it's own! I get so "out of shape" when other singers are placed above him! Who decides these ratings, anyway?

Greatest singular artist of all time I would say

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14 Carrie Underwood Carrie Underwood

Agreed that there is no way she should be this high. She is the only woman in the top 20! You can't be serious. She's already better than Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Reba McIntyre, Tanya Tucker, Bobbi Gentry, Kitty Wells? None of these historic singers needed a reality show to get them to the top. She's talented, but to say she's the best female country singer ever? It just ain't true. Oh, and she's in the top twenty on the Top Tens most underrated list, too. What a joke.

Carrie Underwood has such a powerhouse of a voice within her. Though people are always trying to sing just like her, no one can sing the way she does. She turns ordinary songs into incredible voice masterpieces. She is such a real person, too - her faith and her values shine through her music.

She brings so much power to her songs. She has done nothing wrong in her life and she is truly amazing. As one of my friends like to say she has the song of an ANGEL!

I LOVE CARRIE UNDERWOOD! Raise your hand if you're a Carrie Care bear like us!

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15 Randy Travis

A younger George Jones with a deep, rich baritone, Randy Travis breathed new life into country music, staying true to his roots and the genre while developing his own unique style. While a foray into Gospel and a series of personal problems derailed his career, he is the godfather of the neo-traditionalist country movement.

This man doesn't get the praise he deserves for some reason I don't know. If this list is on terms of who has had the biggest career then OK, but if it is on terms of the best country singer and talent then this man belongs at number 1. Randy Travis is the most gifted country singer ever and can do things with his voice that no one else can get close to.

Randy Travis may not have contributed as much to country music as some of the others on this list, but as far as singing ability goes, he is definitely one of the greatest.

His words could move the soul.

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16 Hank Williams Jr.

He is not riding on his dad's coat tails you are wrong he is the best old country music singer in my opinion and I should know because I listen to country gold every saturday night with rowdy yates and I am only a tween

Best because it proved he could sing his daddy's music and his own style and he still reaches out to some of the younger generation

Hank Jr. has a truly wonderful voice, I've heard them all and he ranks up there with Elvis and George Jones

HANK JR'S MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE...

HIE SOUND, PULLED ME BACK TO MY DEEP ROOTED "WILLIE & WAYLON" MUSIC...

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17 Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kenneth Arnold "Kenny" Chesney is an American country singer and songwriter. He has recorded 20 albums, 14 of which have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA.

Kenny chesney has more number ones than everyone above him on this list except for Alan Jackson and George strait and there is no way Carrie underwood is better and half the people above him are not even relevant anymore. As well he is no doubt top 5, arguably #1

Saying kenny chesney isn't in the top 10 in blasphemy but saying he isn't as good as brad paisley is just dumb. Not only should kenny be top 10, he should be #1 on the list. There's no way in any world that carrie underwood, brad paisley, alan jackson, and darth brooks are even on kenny's level. - mikegirardi

He is the best! He has no bad songs. He sings from the heart, and has never changed. He is still that same old country boy he use to be.. In my opinion, he almost has what it takes to keep up with Chash, Hank, Willie, and Strait. Keep it up! HE IS THE BEST.

He should be in top 10

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18 Ray Price Ray Price

This man is not #25, he should be in the top 3. Invented modern country music in 1956, and had the biggest voice of any singer in the genre. Has been around since the time of Hank and still going. This position in the list reflects a great ignorance.

He is the best singer and very easy to dance to his music also best band

Ray price had respect for country music and most of all his fans. Not like some of the so called new country singers. Isure hope we keep real county alive it was in my life growing up and still is every day.

Top 10 ranking

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19 David Allen Coe

He is one of the original outlaw country singers and a amazing songwriter

Damn right he is

Why is coe in the wood pile?

David Allan Coe in my opinion is one of the top 5 song writers of all time sings all Johnras of music. and sings them well.his influence on country music has no bounds, and has helped to achieve the Careers of many young artists.and never took no. I think you should be in the top 3 and probably the top one of the outlaws.He is one of my true hero's, thank you David your what makes America Great. If you ain't country they can kiss my ASS.

D.R.S.

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20 Johnny Horton

Johnny horton had more hits than johnny cash and also has an album naming him the king of traditional country. George Strait is the king of regular country.

Personally my favorite. I like Sink the Bismarck, Battle of New Orleans and Battle of Bull Run honestly.

Can't believe more is not said about his songs I have learned more about history listrning to his songs than I ever did in school

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1. Ray Price
2. George Jones
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1. Johnny Cash
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