The 50 Most Popular Country Music Stars

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

40. Jim Reeves
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 744
> Jim Reeves Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 325,274
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 8
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Moonlight and Roses (8 weeks)

Honey-voiced country-pop balladeer Jim Reeves is famous for such hits as “He’ll Have to Go.” Reeves was one of the biggest country stars of the 1950s and ’60s. His songs continued to chart even after his untimely death in a plane crash, at the age of 40, in 1964.

Source: Beth Gwinn / Getty Images

39. Clint Black
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 643
> Clint Black Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 303,255
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 31
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Killin’ Time (31 weeks)

One of the cowboy-hat-sporting “hat acts” that emerged on the Nashville commercial country scene in the early 1990s, Clint Black became the first male country singer to make it to No. 1 on the country charts with his debut single, “Better Man.” He’s had 13 songs top the Hot Country Songs chart, including “Nothin’ But The Taillights” and “When I Said So.” Married to actress Lisa Hartman (“Knots Landing”), he released his most recent album in 2015.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

38. Brooks & Dunn
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 913
> Brooks & Dunn Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 315,519
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 7
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Borderline (7 weeks)

Singer-songwriters Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn both had solo careers before linking up as a duo in 1990. Their 1992 single “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” is credited with helping to launch the line dancing craze, and their 2001 song “Only in America” was featured in the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Twenty of their singles in all have reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country chart.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

37. LeAnn Rimes
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 406
> LeAnn Rimes Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 930,352
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 28
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Blue (28 weeks)

Like music wunderkinds Tanya Tucker (see No. 42) and Brenda Lee, LeAnn Rimes broke into the music industry in a big way as a young girl. When she was 11, the Oklahoma native released her first album on an independent label called Nor Va Jak. Two years later, her debut single “Blue” got the industry’s attention, and her powerful voice drew comparisons to Patsy Cline. Rimes has had more success with her albums, scoring five No. 1 hits on the Top Country Albums chart. Her album “Blue” spent 28 weeks atop the chart.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

36. Hank Williams, Jr.
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 738
> Hank Williams, Jr. Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 26,005
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 11
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Hank Williams, Jr.’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 (11 weeks)

Hank Williams Jr. is the son of the original Hank Williams, the most influential and revered figure in country music — even if not among the 100 most popular according to sales and page-view metrics. Williams Jr. has carved out his own niche in a rollicking country-rock vein with a string of hits, including “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” “Honky Tonkin’,” and “Born to Boogie.” Known for his right-wing political views, he wrote a song called “McCain-Palin Tradition” for the 2008 presidential election and considered running for the Senate in 2012.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

35. Brad Paisley
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 823
> Brad Paisley Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 770,756
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 4
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: 5th Gear (4 weeks)

Brad Paisley scored his first No. 1 country hit in 1999 with “He Didn’t Have to Be.” He became the youngest musician ever inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2001, at the age of 28. His 2003 album “Mud on the Tires” yielded four Top-10 singles (one of them reaching No. 1). Paisley has had numerous hits and won a number of awards since then, among them three Grammys.

Source: Mike Prior / Redferns via Getty Images

34. Conway Twitty
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 965
> Conway Twitty Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 568,955
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 3
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: You’ve Never Been This Far Before (3 weeks)

Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, Conway Twitty was a rock and rockabilly star in the 1950s, transitioning to the country realm in the mid-1960s. He charted dozens of hits of his own and a total of 14 Top Ten country hits in duet with Loretta Lynn (see No. 30). He later had success with country versions of such pop songs as the Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight” and the Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand,” before dying suddenly of an aneurysm in 1993.

Source: John Shearer/Country Rising / Getty Images

33. Lady A
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 516
> Lady A Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 844,864
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 31
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Need You Now (31 weeks)

Consisting of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood, this contemporary-country trio, formed in 2006, hit it big three years later when the single “Need to Know” (from the album of the same name) climbed to No. 1 on the country charts and peaked at No. 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010. The group took a break in 2016 but returned to recording the following year, producing the Grammy-nominated album “Heart Break.” They’ve won five Grammy Awards.

The group changed its name to “Lady A” in June 2020 to diminish the name’s connection with slavery and the pre-Civil War South in the wake of the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The name change led to a dispute with gospel singer Anita White, who had already been using that same name.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

32. Eddy Arnold
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 640
> Eddy Arnold Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 149,665
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 17
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: My World (17 weeks)

Music was in Eddy Arnold’s genes. Arnold’s father, a Tennessee sharecropper, played the fiddle, and his mother played the guitar. He climbed to the top of the country music industry and scored seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard country charts, all in the 1960s. One of those hits, “Make The World Go Away,” crossed over to reach No. 6 on the Hot 100 in 1965.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

31. Jason Aldean
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 808
> Jason Aldean Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 676,484
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 12
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: My Kinda Party (12 weeks)

The Georgia native struck gold with his third album, “Wide Open,” in 2009, which made him a star. It produced three No. 1 songs on the Billboard country chart: “She’s Country,” “The Truth,” and “Big Green Tractor.” The next album, “My Kinda Party,” was an even bigger hit with top-selling singles “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and “Fly Over States.”