100 Most Popular Country Music Stars

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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.”

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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.”