Special Report

100 Most Popular Country Music Stars

Photo by Clayton Call / Redferns / Getty Images

No music genre has evolved more than country music. From its bluegrass origins, country music has been sliced and diced into country pop, the Nashville sound, outlaw country, cowpunk, bro-country, red dirt, alternative country, and something called gothabilly, among other interpretations.

Whatever the iteration, at its heart, country music is about life’s journeys, whether the songs celebrate love and marriage, a performer’s religious beliefs, or the struggles and adversity of substance abuse, a chaotic childhood, or a lost love.

In recognition of this singular American music genre, 24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the 100  most popular country music stars, who have sung their way to the top. We reviewed sources such as Billboard and the website for the Grammy Awards to help create our list.

Click here to see the 100 most popular country music stars
Click here to read our methodology

Country music is more than a regional phenomenon. No doubt, according to a Country Music Association report, 60% of the population in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi listen to country music. Its appeal, however, is almost as strong in western states such as Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado, where 58% of people surveyed are country music fans. 

Known as Music City, the hub of country music is Nashville, Tennessee. Hopeful musicians and songwriters come from all over the country (and in singer Keith Urban’s case, from New Zealand) to perform at cafes and bars in the city to get noticed and land a record deal. Here are the most popular country songs of all time.

The latest example of the evolution of country is the unexpected success of the song “Old Town Road.” The song paired Atlanta-based rapper Lil Nas X with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks, the longest period in the chart’s 60-year history. The quirky collaboration was keeping with tradition of outside-the-box musical pairings. Here are 25 bizarre musical collaborations.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

100. Earl Thomas Conley
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 380
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 331,313
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

Known for his “thinking man’s country” songs, Ohio-born Earl Thomas Conley had a string of hits from the late 1970s through the early ’90s. His 1982 release, “Heavenly Bodies,” kicked off a seven-year stretch of successes that included 25 top 10 couintry hits.

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

99. Roger Miller
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 360
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 346,884
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

Though Roger Miller had solid honky tonk roots and released a number of straight country songs, he remains best known for his quirky originals like “England Swings,” “Chug-a-Lug,” and “King of the Road.” In the mid-1980s, he wrote the music for a Broadway adaptation of Mark Twain’s works, “Big River” and won a Tony Award for his efforts.

Source: Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

98. Dottie West
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 381
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 186,543
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

Dottie West, a Tennessee-born star, became the first female country singer to win a Grammy Award — for her 1964 single “Here Comes My Baby.” West recorded duets with the likes of Jimmy Dean and Kenny Rogers (see No. 7), scandalized the country establishment by becoming a sex symbol in skin-tight attire, and died tragically in a car accident in 1991.

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

97. Justin Moore
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 379
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 134,512
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 3

According to Allmusic.com, Justin Moore “aimed for the sweet spot dividing straight-ahead mainstream country and bro-country swagger.” His country-chart hits in the past few years have included “You Look Like I Need a Drink” and “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home.”

Source: John Lamparski / Getty Images

96. Dan + Shay
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 325
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 719,237
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

The duo of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney met in Nashville and started collaborating almost immediately, releasing their debut single in 2013. They have since released three albums . Earlier this year, they also collaborated with pop star Justin Bieber on a song called “10,000 Hours,” which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard country chart.

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

95. Gretchen Wilson
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 207
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 243,352
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 11

Gretchen Wilson’s sassy anthem “Redneck Woman” reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard country chart in 2004 faster than any other single in the previous decade. She was considered a force in turning country music away from its pop tendencies, back toward its roots, though she subsequently recorded an album of ’70s pop songs.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

94. Josh Turner
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 388
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 255,867
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 3

Turner never became a huge star, but he earned respect and had success for his early traditionalist efforts, including his first hit, a 2003 tribute to Hank Williams called “Long Black Train.” He has had other hits since then, including several country chart-toppers. Most recently, he delivered a gospel album, “I Serve A Savior.”

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Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

93. Chris Young
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 442
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5,918
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

After winning the reality competition show “Nashville Star” in 2006, Chris Young also won a recording contract, eventually charting with “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).” He then had a string of No. 1 country hits, including “Voices” and “The Man I Want To Be.”

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

92. Lee Brice
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 437
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 212,215
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

Singer-songwriter Lee Brice is known for emotional ballads like “I Don’t Dance” and the 2013 Country Music Association Song of the Year, “I Drive Your Truck.” His considerable success as a songwriter also includes writing hits for Garth Brooks (see No. 1), Jason Aldean (see No. 32), and Tim McGraw (see No. 6).

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

91. Wynonna Judd
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 311
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5,269
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 9

Wynonna Judd bills herself simply as Wynonna on all her solo singles and albums. She came into country stardom as one half of The Judds, joining with her mother, Naomi, in what became the biggest-selling duo in country music history throughout the 1980s, until being overtaken by Brooks & Dunn (see No. 39). Naomi retired in 1991, and since then, Wynonna has had one hit after another, recording straight country, roots rock, and pop covers.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

90. Brantley Gilbert
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 314
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 317,226
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 7

Brantley Gilbert’s latest album “Fire & Brimstone” topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in mid-October, his third album to reach Billboard’s country summit. He’s had four top 10 hits in the Billboard Hot 100, and one No. 1, “The Devil Don’t Sleep.” The Georgia-born singer, songwriter and music producer will start his Fire’t Up tour next year on Jan. 23 in London, Canada.

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Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

89. Sugarland
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 326
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 202,290
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 8

The group that began as a trio of songwriters from Atlanta in 2002 that eventually became a duo has scored three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Top Country Album chart — all within a 27-month period starting in August 2008. The group has had a total of seven albums crack the top 10 for country albums.

Source: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images

88. Jo Dee Messina
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 420
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 124,904
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 4

Massachusetts-born Jo Dee Messina has posted three No. 1 albums on the Top Country Albums chart, the most recent one, “Delicious Surprise” in April 2005. She’s notched six No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

87. Mickey Gilley
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 464
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 176,775
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

Mickey GIlley, a cousin of rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, had two No. 1 albums in the 1970s — “Room Full of Rose” and “City Lights.” The Mississippi-born Gilley, who plays guitar and piano, now lives in Branson, Missouri, where he owns a theater and cafe and plays six shows a week.

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

86. Sam Hunt
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 318
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 236,192
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 9

Sam Hunt put his own twist on country by melding hip-hop and R&B into his music. The Georgia-born Hunt has had one top-selling country album on Billboard — “Montevallo” — which climbed to No. 1 five years ago.

Source: Photo by Paul Natkin / Getty Images

85. The Judds
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 354
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 147,389
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 8

The Judds — mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna (see No. 91) — were the biggest country duo in the 1980s, racking four No. 1 albums and 14 top-selling singles such as “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Why Not Me.” The secret to the Kentucky natives’ success was their harmonizing of traditional country music, bluegrass, and Appalachian folk with pop-rock.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

84. Ricky Skaggs
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 379
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 314,631
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 6

Ricky Skaggs grew up with music in Kentucky and learned to play the mandolin as a child. The 15-time Grammy Award winner’s roots are in bluegrass, but he’s embraced other genres as well. Skaggs has recorded four albums that went to No. 1 on the Top Country Album list, all of them in the 1980s, and has 11 top country singles to his credit, three in 1982 alone, including “Crying My Heart Out Over You.”

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Source: Epic Records / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

83. David Houston
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 526
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,224
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

David Houston posted seven No. 1 country hits in the 1960s and early ’70s, including the 1966 hit “Almost Persuaded,” which occupied the top slot on the Hot Country Songs chart for nine weeks. Houston, from Louisiana, won two Grammy Awards for “Almost Persuaded.”

Source: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

82. Kacey Musgraves
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 137
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,593,429
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 5

Kacey Musgraves wrote her first song at age 8, and the Texas-born singer-songwriter is today coming off a year in which she won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year (“Golden Hour”). “Follow Your Arrow,” a song about being true to yourself, has been her biggest hit, climbing to No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The song, which she also co-wrote, was the Country Music Association’s 2014 Song of the Year.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

81. Sara Evans
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 475
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 281,379
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 3

Missouri native Sara Evans has scored five No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs list, starting in 1999, including “A Little Bit Stronger,” “Born to Fly,” and “Suds in the Bucket.” Evans, who grew up on a farm in Missouri, has also had two No. 1 country albums — “Real Fine Place” and “Stronger.”

Source: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

80. Jake Owen
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 492
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 321,156
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

A native Floridian who once considered a professional golfing career, Jake Owen turned to music after an injury derailed his sports ambitions. He broke into the big time with his 2011 album and single “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” and last year he had a country top 10 with “I Was Jack (You Were Diane),” inspired by John Cougar Mellencamp’s hit “Jack & Diane.”

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Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

79. Dwight Yoakam
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 375
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 760,647
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 5

Though he was born in Ohio and raised in Kentucky, Dwight Yoakum is associated primarily with the Bakersfield (California) country scene and is known for a long career of genre-crossing releases encompassing honky tonk, rock-and-roll, bluegrass, and Americana. Among other accomplishments, he hit the lower echelons of the pop charts in 1999 with his interpretation of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and later released several songs produced by Beck.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

78. Jack Greene
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 292
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 26,705
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 14

The late Jack Greene was a successful songwriter as well as performer. He was sometimes known as “the Jolly Greene Giant” for his height and deep, resonant voice. Greene’s “There Goes My Everything,” which he both wrote and recorded, won him the 1967 Country Music Association Song of the Year Award.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

77. Darius Rucker
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 374
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 792,470
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 6

Darius Rucker achieved a measure of pop stardom as leader of the ’90s rock group Hootie & the Blowfish before turning to country in 2008. “I plan to do a lot of country,” he told Billboard at the time, and indeed he has gone on to place repeatedly on the country charts. In 2012, he was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

76. Eddie Rabbitt
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 484
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 247,225
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 5

After writing songs recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley and Ronnie Milsap, Eddie Rabbitt began recording himself and scored 17 No. 1 country hits. His career slowed down in the ’90s, and he died of lung cancer in 1998.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

75. Freddie Hart
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 376
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 47,977
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 12

Before Freddie Hart attained country music stardom in his 40s, with six No. 1 hits in the 1970s such as “Easy Loving” and “My Hang-Up is You,” the Alabama singer-songwriter had lived a full life. Hart, born Fred Segrest, started playing guitar at age 5; joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at 12; lied about his age to get into the Marines at age 14 and fought in the Pacific during World War II; and earned black belts in jiu jitsu and judo.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

74. Lonestar
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 560
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 118,718
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 3

Though their name would suggest that this group is from Texas, they formed the band in Tennessee. Lonestar has had nine No. 1 country hits, among them “Amazed,” which sat atop the country charts for eight weeks in 1999. “Amazed” also became the group’s lone No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100.

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Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

73. Little Big Town
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 438
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 371,888
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 8

Little Big Town has been called country’s version of the Mamas and the Papas because of its four-part harmony featuring two male and two female singers. The group members hail from Georgia, Arkanasas, and Alabama, and they have had three No. 1 hit songs on Billboard’s Hot Country charts — “Girl Crush,” “Better Man,” and “Pontoon” over the last decade. Three albums — “Tornado,” “The Reason Why,” and “The Breaker” — all went to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

72. Thomas Rhett
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 439
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,016,474
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 4

Georgia native Thomas Rhett’s third album, “Life Changes,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2017. That same year, he was named male vocalist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. He’s had 16 songs chart on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, including “Die A Happy Man” and “Marry Me.”

Source: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

71. Gary Allan
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 609
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 169,472
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 4

California native Gary Allan has had his biggest success with the album “Set You Free,” which topped the Billboard 200 in February 2013. Four other albums have cracked the top 10.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

70. The Statler Brothers
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 685
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 175,312
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

The Statler Brothers (who weren’t real brothers) had one big pop hit, the mid-1960’s “Flowers on the Wall,” but enjoyed decades of popularity on the country charts, and recorded religious and inspirational songs as well. Illnesses and deaths over the years resulted in changes of personnel in the group, and the Statler Brothers retired in 2002.

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Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

69. Trisha Yearwood
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 501
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 840,102
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 6

Georgia-born Trisha Yearwood’s debut single, “She’s in Love with the Boy” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country chart in 1991, kickstarting a career that went on to include numerous hit singles and albums. Yearwood also had stints as a television actress (most notably on the military drama “JAG”), wrote three cookbooks, and had a Food Network cooking show. Married to fellow country music star Garth Brooks (see No. 1), she has won three Country Music Association awards and three Grammys, among other honors.

Source: Fin Costello / Getty Images

68. Emmylou Harris
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 329
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 783,854
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 15

Initially attracting attention as the musical partner of alt-country pioneer Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris has gone on to release an astonishing number of albums, including a collaboration with Dolly Parton (No. 18) and Linda Ronstadt; duets with such legends as Willie Nelson (see No. 5) and George Jones; and eclectic collections of brilliant originals and classic country, folk, and rock tunes.

Source: Andrew Putler / Getty Images

67. Tammy Wynette
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 545
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 745,869
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 5

Known as “the First Lady of Country Music,” Tammy Wynette is remembered for such poignant classics as “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “Stand by Your Man” — just two of her 17 No. 1 country hits in the late ’60s and early ’70s. She was married for several years to the legendary George Jones and recorded a series of duets with him even after they divorced.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

66. Connie Smith
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 492
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 493,051
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 10

Country star Bill Anderson (see No. 56) wrote Connie Smith’s first single, “Once a Day,” especially for her, and it ended up spending eight weeks at the top of the country charts. Other top 10 hits followed, but in the early 1970s, she turned increasingly to gospel music. She returned to the secular world with a 2008 album produced by her husband, multiple Grammy-winning rockabilly and traditional-country star Marty Stuart.

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

65. Zac Brown Band
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 432
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 503,608
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 13

Zac Brown, the 11th of 12 children, formed a band in Georgia in 2002 and started his own recording label a year later. The band has had eight No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. Their first, “Chicken Fried” in 2008, was their biggest. Five albums reached the pinnacle of the Top Country Albums chart, including “You Get What You Give” in 2010, one of three Brown albums to top the Billboard 200.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

64. Eric Church
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 551
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 541,834
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 7

The North Carolina singer-guitarist blends rock and outlaw country in a rowdy style. He has had two singles go to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs list — “Drink In My Hand” and “Springsteen.” Church has had 16 top-10 country hits. Three albums — “Chief,” “The Outsiders,” and “Desperate Man” — all reached No. 1 on the country album list. “Chief” debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums charts in July 2011.

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Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

63. Olivia Newton-John
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 134
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,410,725
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 16

English-born Australian singer and songwriter Olivia Newton-John is fondly remembered for her star turn in “Grease.” Newton-John has won four Grammys (one for Best Female Country Vocalist in 1973), posted seven top 10 country singles such as “I Honestly Love You (Let Me Know)” and “Have You Ever Been Mellow.” She and also had two top-selling Billboard 200 albums. Recently, she has made public her battle with cancer.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

62. Kane Brown
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 255
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,971,414
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 13

In a 14-month span ending in November of 2018, the 26-year-old, Georgia-born singer had six No. 1 hits in the Hot 100 and 18 songs reached the top 10. His meteoric rise has translated into success in album sales, with three reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200, including the No. 1 “Experiment.”

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

61. The Oak Ridge Boys
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 527
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 249,198
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 11

Country music hall of famers The Oak Ridge Boys hail from the Northeast and the South. They started producing hits in 1977, and thus far, the one-time gospel singers have had 17 Hot Country Songs No. 1 hits and 34 top 10 hits. Among those is the smash “Elvira,” which stayed atop the Hot 100 for five weeks in 1981. Four of their albums went to No. 1 on the country chart.

Source: Photo by Paul Natkin / Getty Images

60. Ricky Van Shelton
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 344
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 93,527
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 21

A country-pop performer who first made the country chart top 10 in 1987 with his debut single, “Crime of Passion,” Ricky Van Shelton had an impressive run of 17 top-10 hits in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He released his final album in 2000 and announced in 2006 that he was retiring from touring.

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Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

59. Don Williams
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 718
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 278,993
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

The so-called “Gentle Giant,” Don Williams broke into the music scene in the mid-1960s as part of a folk-pop trio called the Pozo-Seco Singers, then moved to Nashville in the early ’70s to try his hand at country songwriting. He ended up recording his first album in 1973 and going on to chart such memorable songs as “Tulsa Time,” “Good Ole’ Boys Like Me,” and “Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy” before his death in 2017.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

58. Vince Gill
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 676
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 770,064
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

This Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter, once a member of the group Pure Prairie League, is the only performer to have won five consecutive Country Music Association awards for Best Male Vocalist (he has also tied with George Strait for the most overall victories in that category). Vince Gill has also collected some 21 Grammy Awards, more than any other male country singer.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

57. Sonny James
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 667
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 53,111
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 6

Known as “the Southern Gentleman,” James had his first top 10 country hit in 1953, at the age of 25. Specializing in country versions of pop hits by artists like Roy Orbison, The Seekers, and The Chordettes, he went on to release 21 No. 1 country singles between 1964 and 1974.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

56. Bill Anderson
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 759
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4,024
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 2

Nicknamed “Whispering Bill” for his soft voice, Bill Anderson is known as one of country music’s most successful songwriters, penning songs for Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, and many others, but he has also had an impressive recording career of his own. His biggest hit, considered his signature song, was 1963’s “Still,” which also made it to the pop top 10..

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

55. Florida Georgia Line
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 444
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 540,736
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 15

Florida Georgia Line may be classified as country, but they’ve successfully incorporated other genres into their music, including pop and hip-hop. They’ve also collaborated with non-country artists such as pop singer Bebe Rexha and rapper Nelly as well as country stalwart Luke Bryan (see No. 24). Starting in 2012, the group has had six songs top the Billboard Hot Country Songs list. All of the top-sellers spent multiple weeks atop the country song list. “Meant to Be,” with Bebe Rexha, was No. 1 for an astonishing 50 weeks on top of the country chart in 2017.

Source: Jason Davis / Getty Images

54. Trace Adkins
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 656
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 495,643
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 5

Louisiana-born Trace Adkins mixes gospel, blues, and rock and roll with traditional country music. Adkins notched his first No. 1 in 1997 on the country chart with the song “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” and has added three more No. 1 hits. Four of his albums have occupied the top spot for Top Country Albums, including “Songs About Me,” which was released in 2005.

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Source: David Warner Ellis / Getty Images

53. John Denver
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 121
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,315,056
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 20

John Denver parlayed his country appeal into crossover success in the 1970s with hits such as “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” two songs that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The life of the Grammy winner from New Mexico was cut short by a plane crash in 1997.

Source: Andrew Putler / Getty Images

52. Marty Robbins
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 753
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 450,224
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

Arizona native Marty Robbins learned to play guitar while serving in the Navy during World War II. From 1959 to 1976, Robbins piled up 11 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country song chart. His first hit, “El Paso,” was a crossover success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning him the first of his two Grammy Awards.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

51. Tanya Tucker
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 744
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 615,373
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 1

Tanya Tucker first made her mark in country music at 13 years old in 1972 with the single “Delta Dawn,” which reached No. 6 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Even greater success would follow for the Texas native. The next year, she had the first two of her 10 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs list — “What’s Your Mama’s Name” and “Blood Red and Goin’ Down.” Tucker has had 40 top 10 hits over her nearly 50-year career.

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

50. Dierks Bentley
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 685
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 429,924
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 7

After he moved from his native Arizona to Nashville to pursue his love of music, Dierks Bentley scored a record contract and released his first album in 2003. More albums followed, leading up to “Riser” in 2014, which yielded three top-10 hits, and the 2016 “Black,” which topped the country charts along with its first single, “Somewhere on a Beach.”

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Source: Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images

49. Faith Hill
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 564
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 691,595
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 12

Glamorous country superstar Faith Hill has had success both on the country charts and as a crossover artist hitting the pop charts. She has won five Grammys, among many other awards, and was named the No. 1 Adult Contemporary Artist of the 2000s by Billboard. Hill is married to fellow star Tim McGraw (see No. 6).

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

48. John Michael Montgomery
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 502
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 145,021
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 19

Known initially for his romantic ballads, John Michael Montgomery first performed in his family’s band at age 5, playing the Kentucky honky tonk circuit after high school. Discovered by an Atlantic Records talent scout, he released his debut album in 1992 and went on to have seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard country charts.

Source: John Shearer/Country Rising / Getty Images

47. Martina McBride
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 738
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 425,456
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 9

After getting her start opening for Garth Brooks on tour, Martina McBride released her first album in 1992, followed by her second a year later, which marked her first commercial success. A 14-time Grammy nominee, McBride has been called “the Celine Dion of country music” for her vocal range.

Source: Jack Kay / Getty Images

46. Lynn Anderson
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 514
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 138,441
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 22

The first female country singer to headline (and sell out) Madison Square Garden and the first to win the American Music Award, Lynn Anderson won worldwide fame for her 1970 recording of Grammy-winning songwriter Joe South’s “Rose Garden.” It not only reached No. 1 on the country charts but also rose to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 — and remains among the biggest crossover hits of all time.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

45. Miranda Lambert
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 525
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,391,483
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 14

Miranda Lambert, the singer-songwriter who’s won two Grammys, has scored five No. 1 hits on Hot Country Songs chart, including “Somethin’ Bad,” “Heart Like Mine,” and “Over You.” The Texas native, whose father played guitar and wrote songs, has enjoyed even more success with her albums, notching six No. 1 country LPs, including “Kerosene” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

44. Charlie Rich
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 328
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 186,789
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 32

The silver-maned son of Arkansas cotton farmers is remembered for two hits from 1973 — “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl,” the latter of which was his lone No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rich has had nine No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, all of them in the 1970s, and he had five albums that topped the Top Country Albums chart.

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Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

43. Ronnie Milsap
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 705
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 365,391
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 17

Ronnie Milsap, a singer and piano player who has been blind since birth, has had an astounding country music career. Born in a poor rural area in North Carolina, the six-time Grammy Award winner has amassed 35 No. 1 singles from 1974 to 1989. Two of his four No. 1 albums on the Top Country Albums list are greatest hits collections.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

42. Ray Price
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 799
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6,212
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 18

The richly baritoned two-time Grammy winner changed the cadence in country music in the 1950s. The Texan experimented with a more relentlessly rhythmic sound that is still called the “Ray Price beat” in country circles. Price scored six No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, including “The Same Old Me” in 1959 and “City Lights” in 1958. He also enjoyed crossover triumphs with “For The Good Times” in 1971.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

41. Loretta Lynn
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 692
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,918,461
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 12

Few country singers, male or female, have had as storied a career as Loretta Lynn, whose songs brim authenticity. The motion picture “‘Coal Miner’s Daughter,” with Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, is about her life. The three-time Grammy Award winner from Kentucky, Lynn is most famous for the songs “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Woman of the World,” “Love Is the Foundation,” and “Don’t Come Home A ‘Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” Lynn has notched 16 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs list and produced 51 top 10 hits. Ten of her albums reached the zenith of the Top Country Album chart.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

40. Brad Paisley
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 812
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 769,178
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 16

Brad Paisley scored his first No. 1 country hit in 1999 with “He Didn’t Have to Be.” He became the youngest musician ever inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2001, at the age of 28. His 2003 album “Mud on the Tires” yielded four top-10 singles (one of them reaching No. 1), and he has had numerous hits and won a number of awards since then.

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Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images

39. Brooks & Dunn
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 913
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 426,304
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 14

Singer-songwriters Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn both had solo careers before linking up as a duo in 1990. Their 1992 single “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” is credited with helping to launch the line dancing craze, and their 2001 song “Only in America” was featured in the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Twenty of their singles in all have reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country chart.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

38. Conway Twitty
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 965
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 556,419
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 11

Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, Conway Twitty was a rock and rockabilly star in the 1950s, transitioning to the country realm in the mid-1960s and charting hits of his own and a total of 14 Top Ten country hits in duet with Loretta Lynn (see No. 41). He later had success with country versions of such pop songs as the Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight” and the Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand,” before dying suddenly of an aneurysm in 1993.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

37. Chris Stapleton
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 278
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,359,659
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 41

The one-time leader of the contemporary bluegrass band The SteelDrivers and a songwriter whose work was recorded by George Strait, Brad Paisley, and many more (even pop singer Adele), Chris Stapleton emerged as a star in his own right in 2015 with his debut album, “Traveller.” This won him Country Music Association awards for Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Best Male Vocalist, as well as Grammys for Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance — and many more honors have followed.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

36. Jim Reeves
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 744
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 301,405
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 25

Honey-voiced country-pop balladeer Jim Reeves is famous for such hits as “He’ll Have to Go.” Reeves was one of the biggest country stars of the 1950s and ’60s. His songs continued to chart even after his untimely death in a plane crash, at the age of 40, in 1964.

Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

35. Billy Ray Cyrus
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 219
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,464,478
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 39

Until this year, Billy Ray Cyrus was mostly known as the father of combustible pop star Miley Cyrus and as the singer of the hit “Achy Breaky Heart” from 1992. Then he collaborated with rapper Lil Nas X, creating an unlikely pairing that produced “Old Town Road,” which made history by staying atop Billboard’s Hot 100 for 19 weeks, the longest stretch in the chart’s 60-year history.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

34. George Jones
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,221
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 683,308
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 3

Texas-born George Jones has put more songs on the Billboard country singles chart than any other artist, placing 143 in the top 40, with 13 going to No. 1. Many of his songs are about heartbreak, and Jones had a lot of that in his life, with multiple divorces and a drinking problem. His best-known song is “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Jones’s first No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs list was “White Lightning” in 1959, penned by J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

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Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

33. Keith Urban
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 893
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,838,171
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 12

From New Zealand comes Keith Urban, who acquired his love for American country music from his parents. After proving himself in Australia in the late 1980s, he came to Nashville seeking stardom. But success wasn’t immediate and he succumbed to substance abuse, a demon he continues to fight. He persevered and has had 16 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. One of them, “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” held the top spot for 12 weeks.

Source: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

32. Jason Aldean
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 762
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 654,222
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 26

The Georgia native struck gold with his third album, “Wide Open,” in 2009, which made him a star. It produced three No. 1 songs on Billboard country chart: “She’s Country,” “The Truth,” and “Big Green Tractor.” The next album, “My Kinda Party,” was an even bigger hit with top-selling singles “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and “Fly Over States.”

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

31. Blake Shelton
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 828
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,390,342
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 15

Most people know Blake Shelton as one of the coaches on the television show “The Voice.” But the Oklahoma native has carved out a remarkable career in his own right. Shelton has produced 14 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, including “God’s Country,” which held the top spot for seven weeks. Thirty-one of his songs reached the top 10. Six of his albums reached the pinnacle of the Top Country Albums list.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

30. Clint Black
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 643
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 307,527
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 38

One of the cowboy-hat-sporting “hat acts” that emerged on the Nashville commercial country scene in the early 1990s, Clint Black became the first male country singer to make it to No. 1 on the country charts with his debut single, “Better Man.” Married to actress Lisa Hartman (“Knots Landing”), he released his most recent album in 2015.

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Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

29. Luke Combs
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 307
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,179,264
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 51

Named Best New Artist last year by the Country Music Association, Luke Combs is known for his R&B-tinged modern country sound. His first full-length album, “This One’s for You,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart, and his hit 2018 ballad “Beautiful Crazy” won him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist the following year.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

28. Rascal Flatts
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 866
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 350,439
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 29

Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox, and Joe Don Rooney got together to form Rascal Flatts in 1999, releasing their self-titled debut album — which yielded four hit singles — the following year. In 2006, their fourth studio LP, “Me and My Gang,” had the largest first-week sales of any album in any category, and they were the top-selling group in any musical genre for the entire year.

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

27. Lady Antebellum
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 496
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 455,437
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 47

Consisting of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood, this contemporary-country trio, formed in 2006, hit it big three years later when the single “Need to Know” (from the album of the same name) climbed to No. 1 on the country charts and peaked at No. 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010. The group took a break in 2016 but returned to recording the following year, producing the Grammy-nominated album “Heart Break.”

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

26. Hank Williams, Jr.
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 738
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 41,158
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 40

Hank Williams Jr. is the son of the original Hank Williams, the most influential and revered figure in country music — even if not among the 100 most popular according to sales and page-view metrics. Williams Jr. has carved out his own niche in a rollicking country-rock vein with a string of hits, including “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” “Honky Tonkin’,” and “Born to Boogie.” Known for his right-wing political views, he wrote a song called “McCain-Palin Tradition” for the 2008 presidential election and considered running for the Senate in 2012.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

25. LeAnn Rimes
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 406
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,046,074
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 50

Like music wunderkinds Tanya Tucker (see No. 51) and Brenda Lee, LeAnn Rimes broke into the music industry in a big way as a young girl. When she was 11, the Oklahoma native released her first album on an independent label called Nor Va Jak. Two years later, her debut single “Blue” got the industry’s attention, and her powerful voice drew comparisons to Patsy Cline. Rimes has had more success with her albums, scoring five No. 1 hits on the Top Country Albums chart. Her album “Blue” spent 28 weeks atop the chart.

Source: Marianna Massey / Getty Images

24. Luke Bryan
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 760
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,291,475
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 34

Georgia native Luke Bryan is a certified hitmaker, posting 11 No.1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. One single, “That’s My Kind Of Night,” spent 12 weeks on top of the Hot Country Songs chart. The “American Idol” judge has also recorded eight No. 1 albums on the Top Country Albums.

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

23. Eddy Arnold
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 640
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 136,818
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 51

Music was in Eddy Arnold’s genes. Arnold’s father, a Tennessee sharecropper, played the fiddle, and his mother played the guitar. He climbed to the top of country music industry and scored seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard country charts, all in the 1960s. One of those hits, “Make The World Go Away,” crossed over to reach No. 6 on the Hot 100 in 1965.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

22. Carrie Underwood
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 630
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,664,324
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 43

Carrie Underwood used her exposure on “American Idol” to launch her singing career, and it took off. The Oklahoma native’s debut album, “Some Hearts,” soared to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 2005, and Underwood would have four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200. Underwood has gone on to win seven Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Vocal Country Performance for “Jesus Take The Wheel” in 2006.

Source: Bettmann / Getty Images

21. Glen Campbell
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 582
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 818,208
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 51

Glen Campbell had a slew of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including the often-covered “Rhinestone Cowboy,” one of his five No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. The Arkansas native won six Grammy Awards. The beloved singer-songwriter fought a public battle with Alzheimer’s disease before succumbing to the affliction at age 81 in 2017.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

20. Toby Keith
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,083
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 508,988
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 36

Toby Keith was a semi-pro football player before turning to music, releasing his self-titled debut album in 1993, featuring “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” which hit the top spot on the country charts. A series of honky-tonk-flavored albums and singles followed (including duets with Willie Nelson and Sting), but what made the singer a household name was his controversial 2002 recording “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American”), which garnered an avalanche of publicity when ABC-TV wouldn’t let him perform it on a Fourth of July special.

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19. Dixie Chicks
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 359
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 727,553
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 71

Formed as a bluegrass-oriented band in 1989 by sisters Martie and Emily Erwin and Natalie Maines (daughter of revered pedal steel player and record producer Lloyd Maines), the Dixie Chicks pivoted to more commercial country music in 1998 with their first hits, “There’s Your Trouble” and “Wide Open Spaces.” Their career nearly tanked after in a London concert in 2003 Maines spoke out on stage against the Iraq war and President George W. Bush, sparking a widespread country-music-industry boycott. But their 2006 comeback album, “Taking the Long Way,” and its lead single “Not Ready to Make Nice,” won a total of four Grammys, and the criticism died down.

Source: Photo by David Redfern / Redferns / Getty Images

18. Dolly Parton
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 647
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4,814,629
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 36

A country mega-star whose international fame crosses categories, Dolly Parton first recorded at the age of 13. At age 24, she had her first No. 1 country hit, “Joshua” — the first of many efforts to top the country and pop charts. Collaborations with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (see No. 68), Ricky Van Shelton (No. 60), and many others followed, as did starring roles in such popular films as “9 to 5” (whose title song became Parton’s first No. 1 pop single) and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Parton even co-owns her own theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Source: Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images

17. Reba McEntire
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,021
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,686,433
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 38

Reba McEntire is considered to have been country music’s biggest star in the 1980s, with hits like “One Promise Too Late” and “Love Will Find Its Way to You,” but she went on to enjoy crossover success in the pop field as well. In the 2000s, McEntire turned to acting, appearing on Broadway, in films, and on TV (she had her own sitcom, “Reba,” for six seasons), but never gave up country music. Earlier this year, she released “Stronger Than the Truth,” an album hailed as a return to her roots.

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

16. Alan Jackson
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,148
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 665,768
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 42

One of the biggest country stars of the 1990s, Alan Jackson released his first album at the beginning of the decade, scoring four top-five country hits — one of which, “I’d Love You All Over Again,” made it to No. 1. Many other top-ranked hits ensued, including the Nashville-music-industry satire “Gone Country,” a cover of “It Must Be Love” by Don Williams (No. 59), and the crossover duet with Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

15. Merle Haggard
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 982
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,115,615
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 51

Merle Haggard emerged from a hardscrabble existence in Depression-era California, where he served time in San Quentin prison, to become a country music legend. Haggard amassed 38 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. His first authored No.1 song was “Branded Man” in 1967, and he churned out hits through the late 1980s. Haggard won two Grammy Awards and was nominated 13 times.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

14. Buck Owens
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 893
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 403,571
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 60

Buck Owens popularized the twangy, electrified Bakersfield sound in the 1960s, when he recorded almost all of his 21 No. 1 Top Country Songs chart. Owens boosted his profile and that of country music as co-host of the primetime variety television show “Hee Haw.” The Texas-born singer influenced generations of country music

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Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

13. Kenny Chesney
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,086
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 959,105
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 49

Kenny Chesney is not cut from the old school country mode — he studied marketing at East Tennessee State University and didn’t get into music until he was in college. Once he did, Chesney forged an image as an emotionally frank heartthrob. And he parlayed that into a string of 23 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s country charts. Chesney’s single “How Forever Feels” occupied the top spot for six weeks.

Source: Photo by David Redfern / Redferns

12. Waylon Jennings
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 760
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,422,521
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 69

Waylon Jennings personified the outlaw country era, a swaggering, guitar-wielding figure in the 1970s. The Grammy-winning singer from Texas began playing in a band by age 12. By the time he died in 2002, Jennings had recorded 15 chart-toppers on the Hot Country Songs chart, including the “Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” and two duets with Willie Nelson (see No. 5).

Source: David Paul Morris / Getty Images

11. Randy Travis
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 614
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 857,605
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 80

Randy Travis brought country music back to its roots in the 1980s. He has also sung extensively about his Christian faith. The seven-time Grammy winner has recorded 16 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, with songs like “On the Other Hand” and “Three Wooden Crosses.”

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

10. Charley Pride
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 714
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 574,488
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 85

Between 1966 and 1984, Charley Pride — an erstwhile Negro American League baseball player who became the first major African American country star — 52 singles became country top 10 hits. He continued to have success through the latter ’80s and ’90s and released his most recent album, “Music in My Heart,” in 2017 at the age of 83.

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Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

9. Johnny Cash
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 802
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4,694,279
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 56

Johnny Cash’s decades-long career began with his first recordings at the fabled Sun Records in Memphis in the mid-1950s. This legendary country icon — known as “the Man in Black” — continued recording through the early 2000s (he died in 2003), culminating with his late-career American Recordings LPs. The latter albums featured songs by Tom Waits, Nick Lowe, and Beck, among others, and guest appearances by such musicians as Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, and Flea. Among his indelible hits were “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “A Boy Named Sue.”

Source: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

8. Shania Twain
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 450
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,813,993
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 97

Canadian-born Shania Twain ruled the country airwaves in the 1990s with her slick country pop. Her first album came out in 1993, but it was her second, 1995’s “The Woman in Me” that launched her to stardom, with its No. 1 single “Any Man of Mine.” After a lull between 2008 and 2011, Twain returned to touring and recording, and her 2017 album “Now” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country and Top 200 charts.

Source: Harry Langdon / Getty Images

7. Kenny Rogers
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 556
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,101,546
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 98

Kenny Rogers tasted musical success during his stints with The New Christy Minstrels and The First Edition. His first major hit as a solo artist came with “Lucille” in 1977, a success on both the country and pop charts — establishing Rogers as a crossover artist almost from the start. Between 1978 and 1980, Rogers had nine straight No. 1 singles (including “The Gambler,” which became a signature for him and inspired a movie of the same name), and later scored with duets with Dottie West (No. 98) and Dolly Parton (No. 18), partnered in a fast-food chicken chain, and remained a major concert attraction even as his album sales slowed.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

6. Tim McGraw
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,217
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 971,496
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 75

Tim McGraw has piled up the accolades in his almost-30-year career: 10 No. 1 albums, 25 No. 1 country singles, three Grammys, 11 Country Music Association honors, and overall sales of more than 80 million records worldwide. Son of noted Mets and Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw and husband of country star Faith Hill (No. 49), he has also had an acting career, with feature roles in a number of TV shows and movies.

Source: Clayton Call / Getty Images

5. Willie Nelson
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 671
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2,637,942
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 94

The rough-hewn Texas troubador has posted 20 chart-topping singles on Billboard’s country charts, beginning with “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” in 1975 and extending to “Beer for My Horses” in 2003. In between, the pony-tailed Nelson recorded some of the most recognizable country hits, like “Always On My Mind” in 1982, “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” in 1984, and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys,” his 1978 duet with Waylon Jennings (see No. 12). A passionate populist, the nine-time Grammy winner was one of the organizers of Farm Aid in 1985 that aimed to provide relief for family farms.

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

4. Taylor Swift
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 444
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6,962,328
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 89

Taylor Swift is equally at home in the pop and country genres and has become one of the most powerful women in music. The Pennsylvania native has recorded five albums that have climbed to No. 1 on the country charts. Seventy-seven of Swift’s songs have reached the Billboard Hot 100, including five No. 1 hits, such as “Blank Space” (No. 1 for seven weeks) and “Shake It Off,” both in 2014. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling musician of all time, based on digital singles sales.

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Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

3. George Strait
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 1,779
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,330,515
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 61

The Texas-born Strait is an exemplar of traditional country music, and his influence has extended to more contemporary performers like Randy Travis (see No. 11), Dwight Yoakam (see No. 79), and Garth Brooks (see No. 1). Forty-four of his singles have topped the Billboard country chart, the first in 1982 (“Fool Hearted Memory”) and the last in 2009 (“River of Love”). Over that span, Strait has been nominated for a Grammy 16 times and has won once.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

2. Alabama
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 964
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 201,778
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 124

Formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1977 by cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, the group put country bands out front rather than in support of a singer, as had been the practice of country music acts. That may sound more like a rock act, and indeed the two-time Grammy winners were influenced by that genre, and they have had six songs chart in the top 40 Billboard Hot 100. But Alabama is a country group, as evidenced by their success on the Hot Country Songs list — 33 No. 1 hits, most of them charting in the 1980s, including “High Cotton” and “Face To Face.”

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

1. Garth Brooks
> No. of weeks on Hot Country chart (all time): 873
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1,824,713
> Weeks with an album at No. 1: 173

The most popular country music star on our list is Garth Brooks. The singer-songwriter from Oklahoma is the most prolific solo performer in U.S history with more than 148 million albums sold. Seventeen LPs went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, among them “No Fences,” “Ropin’ The Wind,” and “Fresh Horses.” He’s also had 19 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list, such as “Two Piña Coladas” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” The two-time Grammy Award winner is the only artist to have won six Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year awards. He is married to fellow country music star Trisha Yearwood (see No. 69).

Methodology

To determine the 100 most popular country music stars, 24/7 Tempo reviewed artist performance on the Billboard Hot Country Songs from 1958 to the week of Oct. 21, 2019. We also looked at how many weeks an artist had one of their albums go to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums chart. We combined those elements with each artist’s Wikipedia page views to create an index value to gauge each artist’s popularity. The period of time used for measuring Wikipedia page views was from Oct. 25, 2018 to Oct. 25, 2019.

Songs for which the artist in question was not the primary performer were not included in our ranking. For example, if a singer had a featured verse on another performer’s song, that song’s performance on the Hot Country Songs chart was not considered in our ranking. For album collaborations that reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Albums chart, each artist involved in the album got full credit.

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