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