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14 Least Popular Country Music Artists According to Baby Boomers: Ranked

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Country music continues to draw audiences young and old, and for many reasons. This genre evokes a nostalgia for rural life. Its messages and themes are relatable, such as love and loss, the struggles of  everyday life, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

With its compelling lyrics paired with masterful instrumentation, country music is a powerful medium for storytelling. Baby Boomers have long appreciated country music as this generation deeply resonates with much of the messaging. Like any generation, Baby Boomers have their favorite country music artists as well as their least favorite. Read on to learn more about the 14 least popular country music artists according to Baby Boomers. This was based on a survey conducted by YouGov.com, with the least popular coming in at number one.

14. Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton has been dubbed the “Queen of Country.”
  • Born: January 19, 1946
  • Birthplace: Locust Ridge, Tennessee
  • Greatest Hits: “Coat of Many Colors”, “9 to 5,” “Jolene”

Inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, prolific songwriter and country music artist Dolly Parton continues to evolve with the times. With a career spanning well over five decades, Parton has sold over 100 million records worldwide. With 25 singles reaching number one on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female country music artist.

13. Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash used his performances to raise awareness about political and social issues.
  • Born: February 26, 1932
  • Birthplace: Kingsland, Arkansas
  • Greatest Hits: “I Walk The Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “A Boy Named Sue”

Johnny Cash is known for charting his own path within the country music genre from the mid 1950’s and into the 21st century, gaining a new generation of fans along the way.  As the “Man in Black,” as he was popularly dubbed, Cash broke into the music scene back in the mid 1950s at the famed Sun Records, the same record label that launched Elvis Presley’s career.

12. Linda Ronstadt

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Linda Ronstadt was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Born: July 15, 1946
  • Birthplace: Tucson, Arizona
  • Greatest Hits: “You’re No Good,” “Don’t Know Much,” “Different Drum”

Linda Ronstadt is an American singer who launched her musical career during the mid 1960s, during the rise of the folk rock and country rock movements. In the 1970s, Ronstadt was voted Top Female Pop Singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

11. Willie Nelson

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At 91 years of age, Willie Nelson continues to perform to sold-out audiences of thousands.
  • Born: April 29, 1933
  • Birthplace: Abbott, Texas
  • Greatest Hits: “On The Road Again,” “Always On My Mind,” “Whiskey River”

Willie Nelson embodies his iconic song, “On The Road Again,” as he traversed the country, performing in 68 cities last year. At 91 years old, Nelson is indefatigable, showing great dedication to bring his legendary music to his fans. Also in the previous year, Nelson released his most recent book, “Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs.”

10. John Denver

John Denver at the PBS Memorial day celebration May 27 1995
Source: John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA / Wikimedia Commons
An enthusiastic outdoorsman, John Denver enjoyed hiking, fishing, climbing, and backpacking.
  • Born: December 31, 1943
  • Birthplace: Roswell, New Mexico
  • Greatest Hits: “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Leaving, On a Jet Plane,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”

As a singer, song-writer, actor, and environmentalist, John Denver’s music expressed his desire for peace, compassion, and for ecology. In 1987, he traveled to Chernobyl to benefit the victims of the nuclear power plant disaster. As the first artist from the West, he also performed in mainland China, as part of a multi-city tour in 1992.

9. Reba McEntire

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Reba McEntire received the 2010 National Artistic Achievement Award.
  • Born: March 28, 1955
  • Birthplace: McAlester, Oklahoma
  • Greatest Hits: “Just a Little Love,” “Only in My Mind,” “How Blue”

Raised on a 7,000 acre ranch, Reba McEntire began her music career singing in rodeos. After her music career solidified, she ventured into new businesses as well as acting. She, along with her husband, Narvel Blackstock, built a jet charter service, a construction company, and a talent-management firm. She also co-produced her own television sitcom, named “Reba,” in 2001.

8. Loretta Lynn

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Loretta Lynn wrote her first song while on a fishing trip.
  • Born: April 14, 1932
  • Birthplace: Butcher Hollow, Kentucky
  • Greatest Hits: “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” “Blue Kentucky Girl,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Country music singer and song-writer Loretta Lynn has enjoyed a musical career that has spanned six decades. Her life was depicted in the 1980s musical film, “Coal Miner’s Daughter. She was nominated for 18 Grammy Awards and won three. In 2017, she suffered a stroke, ending her 57-year run on touring. She passed away on October 4, 2022 at the age of 90.

7. Kenny Rogers

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Kenny Rogers sold over a million records every month, for 26 consecutive months.
  • Born: August 21, 1938,
  • Birthplace: Houston, Texas
  • Greatest Hits: “Lady,” “The Gambler,” “Lucille”

With a musical career spanning six decades, Kenny Rogers has sold over 120 million albums worldwide. In 2013, he was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In 1980, Rogers made history with his crossover success with the release of the song, “Lady.” He passed away on March 20, 2020.

6. Patsy Cline

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Patsy Cline was the first female solo artist to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • Born: September 8, 1932
  • Birthplace: Winchester, Virginia
  • Greatest Hits: “Crazy,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams (Of You)”

Considered one of the most celebrated performers of the 20th century, Patsy Cline is considered a forerunner for women in country music. She is also known as one of the first country music artists to cross over into the pop music genre. On March 5, 1963, Cline, along with three other others, was killed in an airplane crash near Camden, Tennessee.

5. Glen Campbell

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Glen Campbell has performed with Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
  • Born: April 22, 1936
  • Birthplace: Billstown, Arkansas
  • Greatest Hits: “Gentle on My Mind,” “I Wanna Live,” “Galveston”

Country singer, songwriter, and actor, Glen Campbell’s career spanned five decades. He released 64 albums and sold 45 million records worldwide. He hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” on CBS, beginning in 1969 to 1972. Campbell won four Grammys in 1967 in the country and pop categories. On August 8, 2017, Campbell passed away at 81.

4. Kris Kristofferson

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Before pursuing music, Kristofferson was a Rhodes Scholar and studied English Literature at Oxford University.
  • Born: June 22, 1936
  • Birthplace: Brownsville, Texas
  • Greatest Hits: “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Jody and The Kid,” “Come Sundown”

Kris Kristofferson is a retired country music artist, actor, and songwriter who joined the “outlaw country music movement” when he linked up with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson to form the supergroup, The Highwaymen, in 1985. He earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1976 film, “A Star is Born,” with Barbara Streisand. Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

3. Shania Twain

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Country music artist, Shania Twain became an international superstar with her release of the 1997 album, “Come On Over.”
  • Born: August 28, 1965.
  • Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Greatest Hits: “You’re Still The One,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much”

Canadian singer and songwriter Shania Twain is considered the best-selling female artist in the history of country music. Selling over 100 million records worldwide, she has garnered her the title, “Queen of Country Pop.” Twain has received two World Music Awards, five Grammy Awards, 39 BMI Songwriter Awards. Also considered as the “Queen of Crossover” for moving seamlessly from country to pop music, Taylor Swift credits Twain for her own pop crossover.

2. Tammy Wynette

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Tammy Wynette is known for her classic hit, “Stand By Your Man.”
  • Born: May 5, 1942
  • Birthplace: Itawamba County, Mississippi
  • Greatest Hits: “Divorce,” “Singing My Song,” “The Ceremony”

Considered as one of the most influential female country music artist, Tammy Wynette was a singer and songwriter that brought a feminine perspective within the country music genre, typically dominated by men. She received three Country Music Association Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards. She has also sold 30 million records worldwide.

1. Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood was a winner on American Idol, Season 4 in 2005.
  • Born: March 10, 1983
  • Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • Greatest Hits: “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “All-American Girl,” “Before He Cheats”

Growing up in small town in Oklahoma, Carrie Underwood had her start in music by singing in her local church. After her win on American Idol, she has continued to earn accolades awards and honors, including eight Grammy Awards and an induction into the Grand Ole Opry. Her career, spanning close to 20 years, has enabled her to perform with many famous artists, including Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, and Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses.

To read more about which country music artists are most popular with the Baby Boomers demographic, read here.

 

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