The Top 100 Country Singers of All Time

The Man In Black
Johnny Cash, a.k.a. The Man In Black. CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

Country has always been a cornerstone of American music, but in recent years it has undergone quite a transformation. What was once brushed off as "hick music" is now being enjoyed by more people than ever before. Its audience has grown exponentially, and its songs are dominating the radio waves. While the rest of the music industry continues to struggle, country seems to be stronger than ever. If one thing is for certain, country music isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

While country music's more recent success can be attributed to a batch of talented, young artists, the real credit should go to the country music mainstays on this list. These top 100 country singers of all time, even those who have died, continue to be instrumental in defining the genre, and their influence can still be felt today.

Creating this list was a hefty undertaking that required significant input on where to place an artist and which artists belong on the list. The rankings are based on several factors: each artist's album sales; the number of Top 40 hits, No. 1 records, and No. 1 albums; awards and recognition; influence on other artists; and legacy. 

Some of the artists on this list are also considered to be the top country-to-pop crossover successes. They include, of course, Elvis Presley, along with Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks and Glen Campbell.

The Top 100 Country Singers of All Time

  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Hank Williams
  3. Merle Haggard
  4. Patsy Cline
  5. Jimmie Rodgers
  6. Bill Monroe
  7. Carter Family
  8. Willie Nelson
  9. Waylon Jennings
  10. George Jones
  11. Conway Twitty
  12. Bob Wills
  13. Tammy Wynette
  14. Loretta Lynn
  15. Buck Owens
  16. Kitty Wells
  17. Dolly Parton
  18. Lefty Frizzell
  19. Ray Price
  20. Eddy Arnold
  21. Ernest Tubb
  22. Webb Pierce
  1. Ronnie Milsap
  2. Jim Reeves
  3. Charley Pride
  4. The Stanley Brothers
  5. George Strait
  6. Flatt & Scruggs
  7. Marty Robbins
  8. Garth Brooks
  9. Elvis Presley
  10. Hank Snow
  11. Don Gibson
  12. Hank Williams Jr.
  13. Roger Miller
  14. Johnny Horton
  15. Charlie Rich
  16. Red Foley
  17. Louvin Brothers
  18. Statler Brothers
  19. Roy Acuff
  20. Gene Autry
  21. Hank Thompson
  22. Bobby Bare
  23. Chet Atkins
  24. George Morgan
  25. Porter Wagoner
  26. Tennessee Ernie Ford
  27. Vern Gosdin
  28. Sonny James
  29. Reba McEntire
  30. Tom T. Hall
  31. Roy Rogers
  32. Tanya Tucker
  33. Bill Anderson
  34. The Oak Ridge Boys
  35. Faron Young
  36. Earl Thomas Conley
  37. Alabama
  38. Barbara Mandrell
  39. Gene Watson
  40. Crystal Gayle
  41. Kenny Rogers
  42. Shania Twain
  43. Glen Campbell
  44. Rodney Crowell
  45. Keith Whitley
  46. Dwight Yoakam
  47. Marty Stuart
  48. Patsy Montana
  49. Don Williams
  50. Steve Wariner
  51. The Judds
  52. Jean Shepard
  53. Roy Clark
  54. Emmylou Harris
  55. Mel Tillis
  56. John Conlee
  57. Ricky Skaggs
  58. Dottie West
  59. T.G. Sheppard
  60. Johnny Paycheck
  61. Bellamy Brothers
  62. Randy Travis
  63. Lynn Anderson
  64. Carl Smith
  65. Dave Dudley
  66. John Denver
  67. Vince Gill
  68. Patty Loveless
  69. Alan Jackson
  70. Clint Black
  71. The Dixie Chicks
  72. Brooks & Dunn
  73. Tim McGraw
  74. Toby Keith
  75. Anne Murray
  76. Diamond Rio
  77. Mark Chesnutt
  78. Alison Krauss + Union Station