Special Report

100 Most Popular Country Music Stars

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

70. Gary Allan
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 609
> Gary Allan Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 149,795
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 2
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Set You Free (2 weeks)

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: Mike Coppola / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

69. The Oak Ridge Boys
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 527
> The Oak Ridge Boys Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 251,460
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 5
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Deliver (5 weeks)

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 was the smash “Elvira” in 1981. Four of their albums went to No. 1 on the country chart.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

68. Charlie Rich
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 328
> Charlie Rich Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 193,388
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 22
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Behind Closed Doors (22 weeks)

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.

Source: 14639118@N03 / Flickr

67. Connie Smith
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 492
> Connie Smith Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 589,112
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 7
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Connie Smith (7 weeks)

Country star Bill Anderson (see No. 61) wrote Connie Smith’s first single, “Once a Day,” especially for her, and it ended up spending eight weeks at the summit of the country charts. Other country 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: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

66. John Michael Montgomery
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 502
> John Michael Montgomery Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 142,368
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 13
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: John Michael Montgomery (13 weeks)

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: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

65. Sonny James
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 667
> Sonny James Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 51,842
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 5
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: The Best of Sonny James (5 weeks)

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

64. Florida Georgia Line
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 484
> Florida Georgia Line Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 451,297
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 10
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Here’s to the Good Times (10 weeks)

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. 26). 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 on the Hot Country Songs chart for an astonishing 50 weeks after its release in 2017.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

63. Eric Church
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 583
> Eric Church Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 440,735
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 3
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: The Outsiders (3 weeks)

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.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

62. The Statler Brothers
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 685
> The Statler Brothers Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 347,253
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 1
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Pardners in Rhyme (1 week)

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.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

61. Bill Anderson
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 759
> Bill Anderson Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 2,278
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 2
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: I Love You Drops (2 weeks)

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, with seven country No. 1 singles. His biggest hit, considered his signature song, was 1963’s “Still,” which also made it to the pop Top 10.