The 50 Most Popular Country Music Stars

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20. Buck Owens
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 893
> Buck Owens Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 420,383
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 15
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail (15 weeks)

Buck Owens popularized the twangy, electrified Bakersfield sound in the 1960s, when he recorded almost all of his 21 No. 1 Top Country Songs chart. Owens boosted his profile, and that of country music, as co-host of the country-themed primetime variety television show “Hee Haw.” The Texas-born singer influenced generations of country music.

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19. Blake Shelton
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 829
> Blake Shelton Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 2,725,375
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 5
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Based on a True Story… (5 weeks)

Most people know Blake Shelton as one of the coaches on the television show “The Voice.” But the Oklahoma native has carved out a remarkable career in his own right. Shelton has achieved 14 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, including “God’s Country,” which held the top spot for seven weeks. Thirty-one of his songs reached the Top 10. Six of his albums reached the pinnacle of the Top Country Albums list.

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18. Randy Travis
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 614
> Randy Travis Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 823,172
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 43
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Always & Forever (43 weeks)

Randy Travis brought country music back to its roots in the 1980s. He has also sung extensively about his Christian faith. The seven-time Grammy winner has recorded 16 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, with songs like “On the Other Hand” and “Three Wooden Crosses.” Travis has won seven Grammy Awards.

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17. Waylon Jennings
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 760
> Waylon Jennings Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 1,475,903
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 16
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Greatest Hits (16 weeks)

Waylon Jennings personified the outlaw country era, a swaggering, guitar-wielding figure in the 1970s. The Grammy-winning singer from Texas began playing in a band by age 12. By the time he died in 2002, Jennings had recorded 15 chart-toppers on the Hot Country Songs chart, including the “Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” and two duets with Willie Nelson (see No. 9).

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16. Merle Haggard
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 982
> Merle Haggard Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 1,296,210
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 7
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: The Fightin’ Side of Me (7 weeks)

Merle Haggard emerged from a hardscrabble existence in Depression-era California, where he served time in San Quentin prison, to become a country music legend. Haggard amassed 38 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart. His first authored No.1 song was “Branded Man” in 1967, and he churned out hits through the late 1980s. Haggard won two Grammy Awards and was nominated 13 times.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

15. Charley Pride
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 714
> Charley Pride Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 552,383
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 16
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs (16 weeks)

Between 1966 and 1984, Charley Pride — an erstwhile Negro American League baseball player who became the first major African American country star — released 52 singles that became country Top-10 hits. He continued to have success through the latter ’80s and ’90s and released his most recent album, “Music in My Heart,” in 2017 at the age of 83.

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14. Alan Jackson
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 1148
> Alan Jackson Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 648,583
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 11
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Greatest Hits Volume II (And Some Other Stuff) (11 weeks)

One of the biggest country stars of the 1990s, Alan Jackson released his first album at the beginning of the decade, scoring four top-five country hits — one of which, “I’d Love You All Over Again,” made it to No. 1. Many other top-ranked hits ensued, including the Nashville-music-industry satire “Gone Country,” a cover of “It Must Be Love” by Don Williams (see No. 57), and the crossover duet with Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” Jackson has had 26 country No. 1 hits.

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13. Reba McEntire
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 1021
> Reba McEntire Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 1,603,837
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 13
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Sweet Sixteen (13 weeks)

Reba McEntire is considered to have been country music’s biggest star in the 1980s, with hits like “One Promise Too Late” and “Love Will Find Its Way to You,” but she went on to enjoy crossover success in the pop field as well. In the 2000s, McEntire turned to acting, appearing on Broadway, in films, and on TV (she had her own sitcom, “Reba,” for six seasons), but never gave up country music. In 2019, she released “Stronger Than the Truth,” an album hailed as a return to her roots.

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12. Kenny Chesney
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 1122
> Kenny Chesney Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 1,024,380
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 14
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: When the Sun Goes Down (14 weeks)

Kenny Chesney is not cut from the old school country mode — he studied marketing at East Tennessee State University and didn’t get into music until he was in college. Once he did, Chesney forged an image as an emotionally frank heartthrob. And he parlayed that into a string of 23 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s country charts. Chesney’s single “How Forever Feels” occupied the top spot for six weeks.

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11. Shania Twain
> All time appearances on Billboard’s Hot Country chart: 450
> Shania Twain Wikipedia page views in the last 12 months: 2,185,275
> All time weeks with any album at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart: 50
> Album with most No. 1 appearances: Come On Over (50 weeks)

Canadian-born Shania Twain ruled the country airwaves in the 1990s with her slick country pop. Her first album came out in 1993, but it was her second, 1995’s “The Woman in Me” that launched her to stardom, with its No. 1 single “Any Man of Mine.” After a lull between 2008 and 2011, Twain returned to touring and recording, and her 2017 album “Now” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country and Top 200 charts.