Musicians have a special touch. Country music tends to attract this kind of people. The country features vocalists who can bellow notes and some who can convey a touching tale via song.
Numerous performers have popularized and shaped country music. Here are the best ten country artists who have shaped country folk music.
1. Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw is a country music legend. Ten of his 16 albums have topped the Top Country Albums rankings.
In the mid-1990s, McGraw began singing country ballads. He’s famous in country music for writing accessible tunes and influencing music trends.
The awards he won are:
- Three Grammy Awards
- Three People’s Choice Awards
- 10 American Music Awards
- 11 Country Music Association Awards, and
- 14 Academy of Country Music Awards
2. George Strait
George Strait, the “King of Country,” had a problematic professional start. He entered the service at 19 from Poteet, Texas.
He secured a one-song contract with MCA Records 10 years later in 1981, promising a longer-term deal if he could write a hit.
That year, Strait’s “Unwound” ranked sixth on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs list. In the ’80s and ’90s, George Strait was a global superstar. Strait revived western swing and honky-tonk. He pioneered neo-traditionalist music and wardrobe.
3. Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash’s career changed throughout. After a rough start in the late 1960s, he earned multiple Grammys and Countries Music Association Awards.
As he grew increasingly interested in advocacy, primarily Native American rights, his criminal image faded. Cash’s music defied classification. Instead, he mixed rock & roll, blues, folk, and gospel.
He pioneered country music and became the youngest Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.
4. Garth Brooks
Capitol Records published Garth Brooks’ 1989 debut. Ropin’ the Wind, his third album, became number one on the Billboard 200. Brooks’ blend of country, pop, and rock helped him sell over 170 million albums worldwide.
Brooks writes as well as plays. He inspired the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
5. Carrie Underwood
After winning American Idol 4, Carrie Underwood became famous. “Inside Your Heaven” became the first country artist to debut at number one on Billboard Hot 100.
Underwood won seven Grammys, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and 17 American Music Awards. 2014 Time Magazine’s 100 most influential individuals included her. Her tracks display Underwood’s vocal range.
She sings pop, gospel, and country.
6. Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton began his career selling tunes to music publishers. Giant Records signed him, and “Austin” topped the country music charts. Shelton’s rock-country ballads were chart-toppers.
He won one Billboard Music Award, 10 CMA Awards, six ACM Awards, and 10 CMT Awards. He also won CMT Artist of the Year. Shelton is a prominent Voice teacher and musician. He has had eight winners emerge from his team.
7. Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan started off composing songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington. Capitol Nashville helped him become famous in the 2010s.
Bryan’s first ten albums had 27 number-one singles. He won the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Bryan takes inspiration from hip-hop musicians like Beastie Boys and country performers like George Strait.
8. Keith Urban
Australia launched Keith Urban’s music career. After his 1990 self-titled debut, he went to Nashville. He became famous and won several Academy of Countries Music and Country Roots Music Association honors.
Best Male Country Vocal Performance was his other Grammy. Urban sings, writes, and plays country guitar. His parents inspired him to merge rock and country music. This mix became his hallmark sound.
Urban produced songs and albums, judged American Idol, and created a guitar instruction course with Yahama.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift started with the world of folk music but moved to other genres. She recorded country-pop albums like Fearless after moving to Nashville for country music.
Swift’s versatility comes from her genre-hopping. Her pop, rock, and electronic tracks have evolved into indie-folk and alternative rock. This fantastic performer has sold over 200 million albums and has eight Billboard Hot 100 number ones.
She earned 11 Grammys and several Country Music Association, Billboard, and American Music Awards. The 2015 Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Songwriters included her.
10. Willie Nelson
Seven-year-old Willie Nelson penned his first song. After growing up performing, he relocated to Nashville and became a Pamper Music composer. He composed Faron Young and Patsy Cline singles.
After struggling in Nashville, Nelson traveled to Texas and found success with Red-Headed Stranger. This record made him famous. He won several prizes, including Grammys.
Nelson shaped outlaw country and pushed Nashville’s music culture. Nelson, at 80, travels and makes music.
Many famous vocalists helped promote country music. It has a variety of country and genre-blending tunes. Check out these singers. Discoveries will surprise you.