Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

These Black Country Singers Conquered the Honky Tonk World

Black Country Artists
by

In the early years of country music, you will rarely see Black country singers. It was a genre often viewed as white music. But things have changed since the late 1960s when African-American singer Charley Pride hit the scene. He paved the way for the many Black country artists today.

Let’s get to know some of the most talented country music artists from the Black community.

Charley Pride

Charley Pride is one of the most popular country singers of all time and was considered as country music’s first African American superstar. At the peak of his career in the early to mid-1970s, Pride even became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. Now, that’s quite the feat. 

He’s also won several awards throughout his career. He has 13 awards under his belt, and this includes four Grammy awards, one of which was a lifetime achievement award. Charley Pride was also the first African-American singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. And in 2000, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. And though he is now in his 80s, Charley Pride continues to release music.

Darius Rucker 

Darius Rucker has made quite an impact in the world of country music ever since he released his first album, “Learn To Live” in 2008. The South Carolina native first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish before he embarked on his own. 

Today, Darius Rucker one of the best-known country artists of all time. He did not only became the first Black country singer to reach No. 1 on the country charts since the ’80s, but he was also the first Black artist to win the Country Music Association for Best New Artist award.

Darius Rucker has been releasing Grammy-winning hits for years now and won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Kane Brown

Kane Brown is one of the most incredible young country artists in the genre. The 26-year-old country singer was born to a white mother and an African-American father. He was raised in Georgia before settling in Tennessee.

Kane Brown grew up listening to the country genre. When he was in 11th grade, he won a talent show by singing Chris Young’s ‘”Gettin’ You Home.” This inspired him to pursue a career in music. He successfully auditioned for ‘X Factor,’ but left the show when the producers tried to put him in a boy band. Instead, Kane Brown opted to post covers of country songs online. 

His cover of George Strait’s “Check Yes or No” went viral. It garnered 7 million views via Facebook, and Brown quickly grew a huge social media presence that he parlayed into the release of his first single, “Used to Love You Sober,” in 2015 and released his first full-length album in 2016.

Ever since then, Kane Brown became unstoppable. He was the first artist to have simultaneous number ones on all five main Billboard country charts. In 2018, he won three American Music Awards for Favorite Country Male Artist, Favorite Country Album and Favorite Country Song. 

Lil Nas X

Montero Lamar, known as Lil Nas X, made his breakthrough by merging the pastoral tones of country music with hip-hop. He put his spin on a subgenre dubbed country-trap, which was an unexpected success for the rapper. 

Lil Nas X debut single, “Old Town Road,” went viral on social media and streaming. This sent him toward the upper reaches of the Hot 100. And in the summer of 2019, the song was already a certified multi-platinum and No. 1 across the globe.

“He’s been able to break down cultural barriers as well as pre-existing notions of musical genres,” Ron Perry, the chairman & CEO of Columbia Records, Lil Nas’ label, told TIME. “He has remained authentic and true to his art, and this is just the beginning.”

Aaron Neville

Aaron Neville is an African-American, Caucasian, and Native American, making his music a byproduct of a colorful background. Neville started performing with his siblings in the mid-’50s. However, legal problems sidelined Neville for much of the rest of the decade. But in 1966, his single, “Tell It Like It Is,” became a smash that spread his name outside Louisiana. To date, the talented singer boasts four platinum albums as well as four Top 10 hits in the U.S.

“I was into him [Nat King Cole] and Charles Brown and Ray Charles and all the doo-wops,” Neville wrote on his official website. “And I was also a big fan of Hank Williams, and the cowboys—Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and the Sons of the Pioneers.”

Cowboy Troy

Cowboy Troy is another amazing Black country singer. He is known for his unique blend of country and hip-hop. Record executives were shocked when Troy’s genre-melding broke through with country music audiences. 

His career took off in 1993 after joining Rich and Big Kenny, of the band Big & Rich, as they performed opening acts for Tim McGraw. Later on, concert venues started to book Coleman for his own solo performances.

Finally, in 2005, Troy released his first major-label solo album, Loco Motive. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and he managed to keep his career rolling. Troy also landed a gig as co-host of Nashville Star, CMT’s singing competition. The show put him next to Wynonna Judd on one season, Jewel, on the next. 

Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen had a rough start in country music. In his few years in few years in Nashville, he experienced poverty and was often living out of his car. He auditioned for America’s Got Talent but did not make it past the preliminary auditions. Allen also auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol but was cut before the live voting rounds. 

But this did not stop him. In 2018, Jimmie Allen’s debut single “Best Shot” debuted at No. 1. This made him making him the first Black artist to score a career No.1 with a debut single at country radio. He joined Darius Rucker as the only Black country artist to hit No. 1 with their debut singles. 

Tina Turner

Though Tina Turner is commonly associated with the soul and R&B records she made, most country fans might not know that the talented artist actually released a country album, “Tina Turns the Country On,” in 1975. The album featured country music covered from the well-loved country artists like Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, and Hank Snow.

Turner took a creative risk, and it totally paid off.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles is one of the most incredible Black country singers of all time that he was often referred to as “The Genius.” Though he was one of the singers most responsible for developing soul music, he contributed to the integration of country music during the 1960s. 

His 1962 album, “Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music,” became his first album to top the Billboard 200. It also has a sequel Music, Vol. 2. The two albums helped to bring country music into the musical mainstream.

Mickey Guyton

There’s another Black country singer on the rise. Mickey Guyton became a rising country star in 2015, thanks to a voice that walks the line between classic country and contemporary pop. Plus, her genuine talent for songwriting is incredible. Her debut single, “Better Than You Left Me,” began making its way up the radio airplay charts. What’s even more amazing was that she debuted the single at the Grand Ole Opry. 

Recently, Guyton released another single, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” which is so exquisitely sung, moving, and totally brilliant. Her performance of the song during the Universal Music Group’s annual Country Radio Seminar early this year drew a standing ovation from a crowd of music industry insiders.

These Black country singers are definitely making history in the world of country music. They’re just amazing and oozing with pure talent. 

Latest Stories

Watch George Jones as He Pays Tribute To Conway Twitty With "Hello Darlin'"

George Jones Honors Conway Twitty with Powerful Rendition of ‘Hello Darlin’

Days after the world lost the legendary Conway Twitty, another country legend paid tribute to the late singer with an emotional rendition of his iconic “Hello Darlin’,” and it’s none ...

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Still not feeling numb after five drinks? If you’re trying to move on from a heartbreak, we hate to break it to you, but Merle Haggard’s lyrics in “Tonight the ...

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

On the road to becoming a country breakout star, Ashley Cooke is an up-and-coming artist who is known for her smash hit “Your Place” in 2023. She brings down-to-earth vibes ...

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Huercasa Country Festival 2024Festival Duration: July 5-7, 2024Venue: Las Delicias Municipal Soccer Field in Riaza, Segovia, SpainPerformers Include: Kaitlin Butts,  Myron Elkins, A Thousand Horses, The Wonder Women ...

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Under The Big Sky 2024Festival Duration:July 12-14, 2024Venue:Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish, MontanaPerformers Include:Billy Strings, Miranda Lambert, Turnpike Troubadours, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here It’s that time ...

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Jam USA 2024Festival Duration: July 18-20, 2024Venue:Eau Claire Event District in Eau Claire, WisconsinPerformers Include:HARDY, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, and moreTicket Information:Ticket Information: Get Your Tickets Here ...

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024Festival Duration:July 11-14, 2024Venue:Craven World Campground in Craven, Saskatchewan, CanadaPerformers Include:Luke Combs, Nickelback, Dallas Smith, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Country Thunder Saskatchewan is ...

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Windy City Smokeout 2024Festival Duration: July 11-14, 2024Venue: United Centre Parking Lot in Chicago, IllinoisPerformers Include: Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson, Carrie Underwood, and moreTicket Information: Get ...

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

George Strait bested both his indoor and outdoor record – and the fifty-year record of the largest attendance in the US – at his annual series of one-off performances during ...

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Concert 2024Festival Duration: July 11-13, 2024Venue: Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Laramie, OhioPerformers Include:Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson, HARDY, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here The Midwest’s ...