50 Greatest Country Music Stars of All Time

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Patsy Cline

A plane crash took the life of Patsy Cline at the young age of 30. Yet in her eight-year career, she rose to become one of country’s music’s most popular and influential vocalists. She was one of the first to cross over into pop music, with hits like “Crazy” (written by Willie Nelson) and “She’s Got You.” In 1985, Cline was the subject of a feature film, “Sweet Dreams.”

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David Allan Coe

Other country music stars may call themselves outlaws, but David Allan Coe is the real deal. According to his website biography, Coe was inspired to pursue a musical career when he met Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in prison. After being released from prison in 1970, he recorded his first album, aptly titled, “Penitentiary Blues.”

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Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie died of complications of COVID-19 in 2020 at the age of 61. But before his death, Diffie placed 35 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with five reaching No. 1 — including “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)” and “Bigger Than the Beatles.” He was also a successful songwriter, having co-wrote singles for Holly Dunn, Tim McGraw, and Jo Dee Messina.

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Lefty Frizzell

One of country music’s early stars and a contemporary of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell popularized the honky-tonk style of country music. His first hit came in 1950 with “If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time).”

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Vince Gill

Vince Gill began his musical career with the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 1970s before going solo in 1983. He’s recorded more than 20 studio albums and had more than 40 singles on the Hot Country Songs chart. In 2017, he joined the Eagles to replace the late Glenn Frey. Gill is married to fellow country star Amy Grant.