May 14

22 Modern Country Singers Prove Traditional Country’s Here to Stay

These modern country singers, from the four-time Grammy Award-Winning Kacey Musgraves to multi-awarded Luke Combs, are here to prove that the honky-tonk fever is still alive and stronger than ever. 

Don’t miss these artists below.

John Pardi

During the peak of bro-country in the 2010s, Jon Pardi proudly carried the torch for the hardcore country fans. He remained loyal to the mainstream of country music but smart enough to offer unique updates to classic sounds. 

No wonder his 2015 album, California Sunrise, turned him into a star on the strength of its No. 1 Country Airplay singles, “Dirt on My Boots” and “Head Over Boots.”

Chris Stapleton

After moving to Nashville in 2001 in hopes of making it in country music, Chris Stapleton started his career as a songwriter for other singers. He spent his days whipping up hits for Josh Turner, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Darius Rucker. Later on, he launched his solo career, and it was an overnight success. 

The Kentucky native bagged three wins at the 2015 CMA Awards.

Luke Combs

Luke Combs stand out from both bro-country revelers and slick country-pop crooners, a prominence that helped him set off a hit right out of the gate. In 2016, the North Carolina native released his first single, “Hurricane.” This launched a series of five number-one Billboard Country Airplay hits in a row. Within just two years, Combs became one of the biggest stars in Nashville.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves started her career bending country tradition to her will. She has written songs that evoked the sound of the classic country at the same time infused with progressive ideas that reflect her millennial perspective. Her big singles, “Follow Your Arrow” and “Merry Go Round,” from her 2013 major-label debut, established Musgraves as a big voice in country music. 

In 2019, Musgraves bagged whopping four Grammy Awards.

Miranda Lambert

If you talk about winning streaks, Miranda Lambert has a track record worth showing off. Each of her seven albums she released since her 2005 breakthrough, entered the Billboard Top Country Album Charts at No. 1.

Laine Hardy

In 2019, The Louisiana-raised country singer won the 17th season of American Idol. Laine Hardy was crowned as the winner after belting out his rendition of Hank Williams’ classic “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).” 

And just recently, the rising country music star released two songs, “Let There Be Country” and “Ground I Grew Up On,” which are a definitive nod to Hardy’s deep Louisiana roots.

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean has sold more than 10 million albums so far and has appeared in number 1 Country Radio charts for 13 times. He has had more highs than most artists, he’s a platinum-selling artist and played sold-out stadium shows all over the world.

Aaron Watson

This Texas native is an independent-minded singer and songwriter with deep honky-tonk tradition. His earliest musical influences were the classic country records by Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Merle Haggard that his folks played around the house.

So it’s no longer a surprise when he played country music with a traditional feel combined with a young man’s energy. This earned him a loyal fan following big enough to take him to the Top Ten of the country charts.

Ashley Monroe

Country singer Ashley Monroe was already a seasoned show business veteran when she released her self-titled album in 2007. She’s a kin of the 1950s honky-tonk heavyweight, Carl Smith.

Later on, she became a part of Pistol Annies, together with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley, whose 2011 eponymous debut became a huge hit. The success of Pistol Annies revived Monroe’s solo career.

Angaleena Presley

Just like Ashley Monroe, she received a boost the moment she became part of the Pistol Annies. Once the group’s 2011 debut Hell on Heels turned into a success, it was a matter of time before Presley received her own record contract.

In 2014, she finally released her long-awaited debut American Middle Class which debuted at 29 on the U.S. country charts.

Ashely McBryde

A singer and songwriter with a touch of a lyrical voice, rock and roll swagger, and a honky-tonk heart, Ashely McBryde put a modern-day spin on classic country themes. McBryde was known for opening shows for such stars like Chris Stapleton, Chris Cagle, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams, Jr.

In 2009, she won the Colgate Country Showdown talent competition.

Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson was formerly the leader of Sunday Valley, who made some waves in the early years of the new millennium. And in 2013, he launched a neo-outlaw country career and gained more considerable renown as a solo artist.

His influential 2013 solo debut, “High Top Mountain,” became a word-of-mouth hit that year and opened the door to a broader future in country music.

Margo Price 

Margo Price might be something of a throwback, from the way she styles her country music after the classic sounds of Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and the likes, to writing like a classic ’70s songwriter.

The Illinois native has a keen eye for details and a knack for narrative and helped her keep her brand of traditionalism, which is evident on her debut album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.

Randy Houser 

Randy Houser first made an impression as a Nashville songwriter in the mid-2000s after he scored a massive hit when Trace Adkins recorded his “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” in 2005. This success of the Mississippi native led him into a recording contract in 2008. 

Over the next half-decade, Houser slowly climbed his way into the Country Top Ten, earning Country Airplay number ones for hit songs “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight.”

Tyler Childers

Hailing from the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, Childers borrows heavily from the weathered yet progressive country records of the ’70s. It is evident on his second album, 2017’s Purgatory, which was produced by the celebrated Americana rocker Sturgill Simpson.

His third studio album, “Country Squire,” was released in 2019 in August 2019. His hit “All Your’n,” from that album earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance.

Cody Jinks

Cody Jinks evoked classic styles from outlaw country to Southern rock. The Texas native shifted from a career in thrash metal to a honky-tonk balladeer in the late 2000s, which was well-received by the country fans.

Jinks went on with his newfound success and signed a deal with Rounder Records. He released his label debut, “Lifers,” in 2018, and it peaked No. 2 on Billboard’s country charts.

Dillon Carmichael

With his deep, rich voice and great respect for traditional country sounds made him won the hearts of many country fans. He made a name for himself in country music with his debut album, 2018’s “Hell on an Angel.” 

But what fans might not know is that his family has been involved in the Nashville community for years. His uncles are Eddie Montgomery from the famous country music duo Montgomery Gentry and country music singer John Michael Montgomery. With that kind of lineage, it’s no longer a surprise that Carmichael was drawn to music.

Brandy Clark

This hit-making country songwriter became an acclaimed performer on her own after writing significant hits for Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire, among others.

Brandy Clark emerged as a fierce contemporary country talent. She tells modern stories that are placed within a timeless tradition. In 2013, she released her solo debut “12 Stories” and was acclaimed as one of the best country records of the year.

Sunny Sweeney

Sunny Sweeney is a brassy country singer whose retro style caught the attention of the country world. In 2010, she released “From a Table Away” as a single. The hit reached the No. 10 spot on the U.S. country chart. It became the highest-charting Billboard debut single from a female country artist in four years.

Cody Johnson

Cody Johnson lived the life of a country singer even before becoming a professional one, from competing in rodeos as a bull rider when he was a teen to working as a prison supervisor. While working these hardscrabble jobs, he pursued country music on the side. 

He released his first album in 2006, but it took him a decade and six albums later before making it to the top of Billboard’s Country Album charts.

Tony Jackson

Tony Jackson is one of the most gifted singers ever to grace country music, and he’s a proud throwback to classic country.

His lean music is rooted in a mix of hardcore honky-tonk and Bakersfield, a sound that evokes the past. He was able to establish his country cred with a rendition of George Jones’ classic “The Grand Tour.” 

These artists definitely carried on the great traditions of country music.

William Michael Morgan

This Fresh and dynamic young country singer is here to rob some hearts. In 2015, Morgan followed the path of his country heroes when he was booked to make his first appearance on the Grand Ol’ Opry.


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