100 Most Popular Country Music Stars

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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.

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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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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.

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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.