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15 Most Popular Country Music Artists According to Millennials: Ranked

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Country music is undoubtedly one of the most popular genres of music in the country. Everyone from millennials to baby boomers enjoys the country craze, and it’s as popular as ever. Thanks to artists like Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain, there’s plenty of crossover into other musical genres. For millennials, country music stands out for its individual songs and romantic hits. 

While millennials love country music, not every country music star can be the most popular. One day, you’re the hottest thing in Nashville and the next, you’re falling off the radio charts. The good news is that YouGov keeps track of the most popular country music artists as of Q1 2024. With this in mind, we can look at the most popular artists according to millennials in descending order. 

Why We’re Covering This

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Country music is a huge genre in the US and around the world.

Country music’s popularity is an easy topic to cover because it’s so mainstream and successful. More importantly, there is plenty of travel associated with country fans flying all over the country to see their favorite artists in action. This means more revenue for airlines and hotels, which boosts their stock prices. Nashville also undoubtedly benefits from being the “hometown” of country music, with plenty of tourists arriving every year and spending millions to help prop up the local economy. 

15. Lady A

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Millennials quickly fell in love with the Lady A sound.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 75%

The American country music group formerly known as Lady Antebellum is the only music group to appear on this list. Millennials have loved this group since they first appeared on the music scene in 2007 and have since released six albums. With more than 18 million albums sold, the group is also believed to have over 5 billion digital streams. All 10 of Lady A’s albums have debuted in a top ten spot on the Top Country Albums chart. 

14. Toby Keith

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Toby Keith performed a whopping 61 chart-topping singles during his career.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 56%

An American country music star, Toby Keith is an actor, producer, singer, songwriter, and all-around great person. Selling more than 40 million albums worldwide, Keith has achieved 61 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including 20 that hit number one. Sadly, Toby Keith died in early 2024 after a two-year battle with cancer, but his achievements in the country music genre will live on forever. 

13. John Denver

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John Denver wrote more than 300 songs during his musical career.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 56%

Selling more than 33 million albums worldwide, John Denver was celebrated for his acoustic guitar sound. Often singing about his love for nature, he was one of the most unique talents in country music. One of the best-selling music artists of the 1970s, Denver recorded more than 300 songs, 200 of which he wrote himself before he died in a plane crash in 1997 at age 53. 

12. Martina McBride

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Martina McBride is a surprising hit with millennials.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 56%

One of the lesser-known names on this list, Martina McBride, is still a huge hit with millennials. Something of a pop-country crossover artist, McBride has sold more than 14 million albums since starting her career in 1988. She has won the Country Music Association Award for Female Vocalist of the Year four times and 14 separate Grammy Award nominations. 

11. Garth Brooks

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Garth Brooks is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in country music history.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 56%

One of the biggest male country stars of the last few decades, Garth Brooks’s appearance on this list is hardly surprising. With more than 170 million records sold, Billboard noted Brooks as the greatest solo artist of all time. The RIAA even notes Brooks as the best-selling solo album artist of all time, ahead of Elvis Presley. Garth Brooks is undoubtedly a country music royalty, with nine albums certified as Diamonds and selling over 10 million units.  

10. Keith Urban

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Keith Urban has sold more than 20 million copies of his 11 records.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 59%

Keith Urban is a huge hit for millennials, with over 11 studio albums and 20 million records sold. His good looks and smooth voice have propelled 37 songs onto the Hot Country Songs chart, 18 of which have hit the number-one spot. Urban has also famously expanded outside country music to work with stars like Pink, Jason Derulo, and Nelly Furtado. 

9. Brad Paisley

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Brad Paisley has more than 35 top 10 hit country music singles.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 60%

A winner of 14 Academy of Country Music awards on top of 14 more Country Music Association Awards, Brad Paisley is on his way to iconic country music status. Selling over 11 million albums, Paisley has scored over 35 top 10 singles on Billboard’s country music charts. Paisley famously wrote the Pixar’s Cars franchise songs, showing off his legendary guitar skills. 

8. Willie Nelson

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Willie Nelson is a hit with millennials and every other generation that loves country music.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 62%

If it seems like Willie Nelson has been around country music forever, it’s just about accurate. With a career that started in 1956, Willie Nelson is undoubtedly one of the world’s most recognized country music stars. While Nelson has had his fair share of trouble with the IRS and the law, it’s impossible to discount his incredible talent and ability to win over a crowd with his musical talents. 

7. Faith Hill

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Faith Hill wrote some of the most popular country pop songs in the 1990s.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 62%

One-half of the most popular country music couple in history with husband Tim McGraw, Faith Hill is a country music icon. Having sold more than 50 million albums, Faith’s song “This Kiss” was her first international hit, but it wasn’t the last. Winning more than 15 country music awards, Faith Hill was nominated for an Academy Award for her song “There You’ll Be” from the Pearl Harbor movie soundtrack. 

6. Reba Mcentire

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Reba McEntire is a legend in the country genre with a tone all her own.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 63%

Another country music star best known as the “Queen of Country,” Reba, is one of the names best associated with the country world. Selling over 75 million records worldwide, Reba has achieved over 100 singles on the Billboard charts, 25 of which hit number one. Reba also starred in her self-named television series, which ran for six seasons on the WB network. 

5. Tim McGraw

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Tim McGraw is not only a successful country star but also an actor as well.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 63%

Tim McGraw, a country music singer and actor, does some of everything. With 25 singles reaching number one on the country music charts, it’s no surprise McGraw has won 14 Country Music Awards. Selling over 80 million albums over his career, it’s more of a question of what Tim McGraw can’t do. He starred in 1883, a spinoff prequel to the wildly popular Yellowstone television show, along with his wife, country star Faith Hill. 

4. Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood is the biggest TV show award winner.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 64%

Winner of the American Idol TV show in 2005, Carrie Underwood has been a country superstar ever since. Selling over 85 million records and counting, Underwood is currently the 10th-highest female artist with the most number-one digital singles. Long considered the most successful American Idol winner, Underwood has ventured into fashion and writing and is even a social media star. 

3. Shania Twain

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Shania Twain is the biggest country-pop superstar on the planet.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 65%

One of the best-selling music artists of all time, Shania Twain has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history. Dubbed the “Queen of Country Pop,” Twain rose to prominence during the 1990s with her album “Come On Over,” which Guinness World Records recognizes as the best-selling female solo album in history. 

2. Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton is a legend in the country music genre and even has her very own theme park.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 73%

There was never any question Dolly Parton would appear on this list, it was just a question of how close to number one she would appear. The second most popular spot isn’t wrong for the country legend. Making her musical debut in 1967, Dolly’s career has spanned 50 years with more than 100 million records sold, a theme park, and more charity contributions than you can ever hope to remember.  

1. Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash’s incredible tone resonated with the entire country music industry.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 76%

It shouldn’t be surprising to see Johnny Cash rank as the most popular country artist with millennials. Better known as the “Man in Black,” Johnny Cash is country royalty with his bass-baritone voice, which gave him one of the most distinct sounds in the country world. Hits like “I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire” helped Johnny sell over 90 million records worldwide.

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