Special Report

50 Greatest Country Music Stars of All Time

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Roy Acuff

An early country music star, singer and fiddler Roy Acuff rose to fame in the 1930s with his band The Smokey Mountain Boys. Best known for his hit “Wabash Cannonball,” Acuff was an active supporter of the Grand Ole Opry. He was also a music publisher. In 1942, he co-founded Acuff-Rose Music with Fred Rose, a label that went on to sign Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and the Everly Brothers, among other luminaries.

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Jason Aldean

With 22 of his 35 reaching No. 1 on the country charts, Jason Aldean’s star has risen steadily on the country music scene. Several of his albums have earned platinum status. Aldean is also an active philanthropist, having raised $4 million for cancer research.

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Eddy Arnold

A performer for over six decades, Eddy Arnold had his first hit record in 1946, with “That’s How Much I Love You.” From there, his career blossomed, with 147 songs making the Billboard country music charts, placing him second only to George Jones. His style blended both country and popular music.

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Garth Brooks

A breakout star, Garth Brooks integrates country with pop and rock. In the process, he achieved crossover success, with nine albums garnering diamond status in the U.S., surpassing the Beatles’ record of six. Not bad for a guy who says he has “Friends in Low Places.” Brooks is married to fellow country star Trisha Yearwood.

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Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan’s first 10 albums produced 23 No. 1 hits, and in 2013 he was named “Entertainer of the Year” by both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association. In addition to his musical career, Bryan has been a judge on “American Idol” since 2018.

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