Country music, just like any other genre, is slowly transforming from its old ways as it continues to transcend time. While country music’s sudden shift into pop-ish arrangements is welcomed by some, there are still country artists and fans who prefer to stand by the image that Country music was first known for. For the traditionalists, they want to stay true to the genre’s roots and hope to preserve its significant contributions to the music industry.

But is traditional country music really dead? Here are 18 country singers you need to check out if you share their love for the original style and distinctive flavor of country singing:

1. Kacey Musgraves

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Singer-songwriter Kacey is best known for her song, Merry Go Round, Follow Your Arrow and Biscuits. Before appearing and earning 7th place in the Nashville Star singing competition, this talented artist had already self-released three albums.

2. Mo Pitney

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His real name is Morgan Daniel “Mo” Pitney. Signed to Curb Records in 2014, Mo released one studio album, Behind This Guitar, and three singles, namely Country, Boy & a Girl Thing, and Everywhere. He was described by critics as an artist who isn’t making a statement and neither is he a symbol of what others would deem as a traditional country revolution. He is rather a representation of how wonderful and majestic a country song arranged in simplicity and performed by a “man who believes in God and George Strait” can be.

3. Joe Nichols

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Joe Nichols first emerged on the music scene in 1996, where he performed with The Rodeo Band in small clubs and school gymnasiums. Nichols has released about 8 studio albums, starting from Joe Nichols, Man with a Memory, Revelation, A Traditional Christmas, III, Real Things, Old Things New, and Crickets. Over 14 of his songs have also made it to the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts’ Top 40 singles.

4. Midland

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Midland consists of band members Mark Wystrach (lead vocals), Jess Carson (lead guitar and background vocals), and Cameron Duddy (bass guitar, background vocals). Their debut single, Drinkin’ Problem led the band to skyrocket into Country Airplay’s top 40. Prior to the magical convergence of their musical talents, bass player Cameron used to be a music video director. He directed the video for Bruno Mars’s Locked Out of Heaven and even won an MTV Video Music Award for it. Midland’s lead vocalist, Mark worked as an underwear model and actor.

5. Jon Pardi

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Born and raised in Dixon, California, Jon Pardi is signed to Capitol Nashville and juggles singing, songwriting, and producing records as his main skill sets. He was nominated for the 2017 CMT Music Awards for Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of The Year for his song, “Dirt on My Boots.” He also won this year’s New Male Vocalist of the Year at the ACM Awards for “Himself”.

6. Aaron Watson

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Aaron Watson’s The Underdog and Vaquero spearheads the booming musicality of Texas country with what critics dubbed as among 2015’s best country albums. He was the first independent male artist whose self-released and independently promoted and distributed debut album, snagged the number one spot on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. His album sold over 26,000 in its first week.

7. Miranda Lambert

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Branded as a traditionalist due to her distinctively homey music style, Miranda Lambert’s songs are filled to the brim with raw, no-nonsense, candid emotions and an aesthetic of country ballads that would light a fire of country passion within you.

8. Brandy Clark

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Washington-based Brandy’s introduction to the music industry began in 2005. Aside from releasing over 30 albums, receiving Country Music and Grammy Award numerous nominations, winning Song of the Year for the 2014 CMA Awards and International Song of the Year for the 2015 British Country Music Association Awards, Clark was also the co-writer for Miranda Lambert’s Mama’s Broken Heart. In 2013, Brandy was chosen as one of the “Women of Country” by CMT, a prestigious and year-long promotion that features up-and-coming artists.

9. Chris Stapleton

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Stapleton has already established himself as an amazing country singer and songwriter after six of his songs hit number one in music charts. His tracks, Love’s Gonna Make it Alright, Come Back Song, and Never Wanted Nothing More seized the number one spot for a whopping five weeks.

10. William Michael Morgan

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Last but not definitely not the least, this cowboy-hat donning country singer is not just all about perfecting the cowboy appearance. His debut album, I Met a Girl, ranked number eight on the Hot Country Songs chart and second on the Country Airplay chart. His sweet, sentimental singing voice proves that there’s still a lot more that he has to offer and we can’t wait to witness him flourish in the industry.

Country music is a unique form of art in its truest sense, something that may attempted to be adorned with different musical backgrounds and interpretations. But, at the end of the day, what matters most is the significance of the message that each artist wishes to convey to their listeners.