Some of the greatest artists in music are those singing of country living. They’re known to sell out massive stadiums and write classic tunes riddled with elaborate storytelling. These modern-day cowboys sling guitars and tell tales of heartbreak, summertime, drinking and just about everything under the sun. Some of the best male country singers boast talent that dominates stages and blows fans away every single time.
Country, as a genre, has been ruled as one of the tamest in music. Researchers analyzing Billboard hits say that while rap and hip-hop contain highest levels of violence and misogynistic themes, country music had the fewest instances of violence or misogyny. Even more reason to sing along!
With country being named the most calm and least violent, it provides a soothing listening experience. A recent study revealed that listening to music can relieve stress, especially in heightened situations. “The present findings suggest music listening may be a means to modulate stress and mood during psychologically demanding periods,” the researchers say.
Ready to kick up your boots and turn on some tunes? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best male country singers. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Male Country Singers, Per Experts
1. George Strait
With over 70 million records sold, George Strait is one of the most successful country singers of all time. He’s had 44 number one hits and has won numerous awards. “Throughout his music career which spans for more than 30 years, Strait holds 60 No. 1 singles, more than any other artist in any genre. He amassed 33 platinum, 13 multi-platinum and 38 gold albums, more than any country artist and third across all genres behind only The Beatles and Elvis Presley,” says Country Thang Daily.
WKRN says, “He is the only performer in history to have a Top 10 hit every year for over three decades.” They also then go to give some interesting facts about the singer. “The ‘King of Country Music’ married his high school sweetheart Norma in 1971 and they remain married to this day…He served in the United States Army as an infantryman as part of the 25th Infantry Division, where he began performing with an Army-sponsored band, ‘Rambling Country.'”
CMT talks about his long-continued success here, “”For the 41st time in 25 years, George Strait has sung his way to the top of Billboard’s country singles chart — this time with the dolorous ballad, ‘Give It Away,’ noted CMT.com in 2006 about George Strait officially eclipsing Conway Twitty and achieving the pinnacle of chart-topping success…the ability to sing songs in a way that allows them to feel timeless and connective — regardless of generation — is what makes ‘Give It Away’ not just unique as Strait’s record-setter but as a Strait classic in and of itself.”
2. Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks is another hugely successful country artist, with over 170 million records sold worldwide. He’s known for his high-energy performances and has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards.
“Since the release of his debut album, Garth Brooks, in 1989, Brooks has made a practice of taking risks and defying the rules, jamming his hands into all sorts of star-maker machinery and seeing exactly how far he can go: for example, writing ‘The Thunder Rolls,’ a song about a man who cheats on his wife, and making a video for it that shows not only the husband’s torrid affair but his violent comeuppance. In Nashville, where newcomers are practically issued handbooks on the accepted ways of doing business — which means playing it safe — that’s living dangerously indeed,” says Entertainment Weekly.
The Walk of Fame gave him a star, “Brooks has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s. Garth Brooks still continues to sell well and according to Nielsen Soundscan, his album sales through the end of 2009 are at 68,363,000, which makes him the best-selling albums artist in the United States in the SoundScan era, a title held since 1991, well over 7 million ahead of his nearest rival, The Beatles.”
Brooks even has a dramatic and inspirational Super Bowl appearance, “Brooks was asked to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 1993. He agreed with the caveat that his ‘We Shall Be Free’ video, which featured footage of Rodney King and the riots following the not guilty verdict for the police officers who beat him, would debut ahead of his performance. With minutes to spare before Brooks was due on the field, the video still hadn’t aired. He started to leave the stadium, because if the television network wasn’t going to air his video as promised, then he wasn’t going to perform. However, the network came through at the last minute and he took his place on the field,” says The Tennessean.
3. Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson has had a successful career spanning several decades, with over 50 million records sold. He’s known for his traditional country sound and has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards.
Britannica mentions his high pedigree, “A traditionalist in his musical approach, Jackson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1991, and he acknowledged his roots in 1999 on Under the Influence, an album featuring his interpretations of songs by artists such as Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, and Gene Watson. Jackson also recorded with Jones, George Strait, Randy Travis, and Jimmy Buffett, among others.”
“Alan Jackson is a well known song writer, singer and musician. His claim to fame is the fact that he successfully blended the traditional country music of America with Honky Tonk to create pleasing music, which captivated his audience,” says Success Story.
“Alan Jackson is an American country singer and songwriter. He is known for his traditional country style and for his songs about topics such as love, heartbreak, and nostalgia. Jackson has won numerous awards and is one of the most successful country artists of all time. He is also known for his signature acoustic guitar, which he has used on all of his albums,” adds Fuel Rocks.
4. Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw has been a mainstay in country music since the 1990s, with over 80 million records sold. He’s known for his powerful vocals and has won multiple awards throughout his career. Boys Sets Fire mentions his start, “With hits like ‘Indian Outlaw’ and ‘I Like It,’ Tim McGraw quickly established himself as one of the country music industry’s rising stars in the mid-’90s. It is the best thing to do. Playing to his sensitive side in order to maintain his career was an important aspect of his upbringing. When it comes to dependability, it is clear that McGraw stands out as one of the country’s best.”
“The ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ singer is a legendary figure in country music, known for his powerful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and down-to-earth personality,” says Music In Minnesota. “He has also collaborated with other artists, including his wife Faith Hill, with whom he has recorded multiple hit songs.”
His success continues even today despite the changing country music scene. “These days, it seems that the less Tim McGraw tries to keep up with the bros, the better he fares. Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell may be growing their fanbases by letting EDM and hip-hop shape their sound more than traditional country music, but McGraw is achieving success by harkening back to his mid-90s style and taking his music in a distinctly retro direction,” says The Guardian.
He’s also a skilled actor! “In addition to his music career, McGraw acted in several films, including Friday Night Lights (2004), The Blind Side (2009), Country Strong (2010), Tomorrowland (2015), and The Shack (2017). He also costarred with his wife and Sam Elliott in the TV series 1883 (2021-), a western drama that was a prequel to the hit show Yellowstone,” says Britannica.
5. Kenny Chesney
Chesney has had a successful career since the 1990s, with over 30 million records sold. He’s known for his beach-inspired country sound and has won multiple awards, including four Entertainer of the Year awards from the Country Music Association.
“Kenny Chesney is a much celebrated country music singer from America. Out of the 16 albums he has released so far, 14 have received gold certificate or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Over 40 of his songs have been included in the top 10 singles on the Hot Country Songs list of US Billboard. 28 songs have even reached number one. After selling more than 30 million albums across the globe, he has become one of the most successful cross-over country artists till date,” says Success Story.
Country Thang Daily lays it out like this, “Kenny Chesney has undeniably built one of the most successful country music careers of his time. The four-time Entertainer of the Year country singer-songwriter has produced over 40 Top 10 singles with 32 chart-topping hits since his 1993 debut. Not to mention that he is also one of the most popular touring acts with sold-out live performance venues. ”
He finds himself very close to the stop of the country music world as Forbes says, “Eight leaders on the Billboard 200 certainly advances his own personal standing, but he is still stuck in second place when it comes to the most No. 1 albums on the all-genre listing when looking only at country artists. He remains just one chart-topper behind Garth Brooks, who, so far, cannot be beaten when it comes to ruling the charts.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Female Country Singers
- Best Things to Do in Nashville
- Best Nashville Hotels
- Best Music Videos of All Time
- Country Thang Daily
- Entertainment Weekly
- The Tennessean
- The Walk of Fame
- Success Story
- Fuel Rocks
- Boys Sets Fire
- The Guardian
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.