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Throughout the years there have been some very influential American country bands that have changed the face of how we perceive music entirely. Country takes its roots from folk and blues music, which allowed for many country artists and musicians to come forward and be able to create music without judgment or fear they may be judged. Most of the best country bands are those that have made it in the mainstream charts as well as those who are popular with their fanbase. Those musicians who opened up the doorway to others have allowed country music to grow in history and have made country music what it is today. This ranking is based on research and although we appreciate that there are thousands of good country artists out there, we had to make a ranking of the best American ones. Most of the artists are very well known and are the best country bands to ever walk the earth.


The 10 Best American Country Bands and Artists


Country band / artist
Description
1 Dixie Chicks Comprised of and founded by three Texas sisters; Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robinson. After coming together in 1989, the band performed at many difference country festivals and busking events around Texas failing to attract a record label, then after the departure of an original bandmate and replacement with a new singer, they soon arrived on the commercial ladder. Starting their commercial success in 1998 with smash hits, the band has gone on to achieve more success than they ever could have imagined. In some ways, critiques have said they’re the face of country music, with the sisters winning many Grammy Awards as well as selling more than 27 million album copies in the USA alone. Since 1991 to 2017 they were named the best-selling all-female country group in the whole of America which is a huge achievement for any band especially one in the country niche. They have released 7 studio albums (not including their EP’s released when they hadn’t had commercial success), and 4 live albums. Since 2000 they have also headlined 5 of their own tours and supported 5 as well as co-headlining a performance in 2004. Some of their biggest songs include ‘Goodbye Earl’, ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’, and ‘You Were Mine’.

For more Dixie Chicks related information on tours, and upcoming albums then you can see their website here: http://www.dixiechicks.com
2 Dolly Parton Born in 1946, Dolly Parton is often seen as one of the biggest names in country music and has said to be a big influencer within the business since her success in the early 1960’s. She is one of the only artists in the world to have 25 awards related to albums which includes Multi-Platinum, Platinum, and Gold award winning albums. Throughout her career she has had 110 singles in the charts as well as 41 top-10 albums (which is the highest record for any artist). There have been hundreds of country artists (some of them in this list!) who have been influenced by Dolly Parton and her music. As well as being a singer, she is also a composer of music and has composed a lot of her own singles that have done well in the mainstream charts. Throughout her career, Dolly has been nominated for 47 Grammy’s and has also won many other notable awards. The singer has also been involved in many TV programmes and films acting as well as singing and playing herself, some of her most well known roles have been in 17 Kids and Counting, Hannah Montana, and Gnomeo & Juliet. There are many halls of fame for country artists and Dolly has been honoured in 15 different ones around the world, including The Happiness Hall of Fame in 2016. Some of her most famous songs include ‘Jolene’, ‘9 to 5’, and ‘I Will Always Love You’. Despite already being in the music industry for nearly 60 years, Dolly Parton is sure to go further with her career and carry on inspiring young country artists to have success in the music industry.

For her tour schedule, album information, and latest updates then you can see the Dolly Parton website here: https://dollyparton.com
3 The Rascal Flatts One of the biggest country music bands that has ever came from America is The Rascal Flatts. Originating in Ohio in 1999, the band is comprised of 3 members (who were all the founders); Gary LeVox, Joe Rooney, and Jay DeMarcus. Despite having many of their own songs and albums, the band is best known in the country music industry for covering the smash hit ‘Life is a Highway’ originally by Tom Cochrane. They have released 11 studio albums to two record labels since 2000, with one being a Christmas album (released in 2016). Through their countless albums, they have had 25 singles of which 14 have reached number 1 in the country charts. Not only have they supported 4 tours in their career, but they have headlined their own 14 tours that have spanned around the world including Mexico, Canada and the UK. Some of their most well-known and popular songs include; ‘What Hurts the Most’, ‘Bless the Broken Road’ and ‘I’m Movin’ On’.

For all Rascal Flatts related information and up to date notifications you can visit their website here: https://www.rascalflatts.com
4 Merle Haggard Often thought of as one of country’s most influential and best-selling artists of all time, the legacy of Merle Haggard is one of music’s biggest. Along with Buck Owens, Merle Haggard created the Bakersfield sound which ended up revolutionising the guitar and country sound. Despite dying in 2016 at aged 79, the popular country singer, composer, and songwriter left a whole in the hearts of many country music fans as his work had proved very forthcoming throughout the centuries. During his long and healthy career, Haggard received many awards and honours including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a BMI Icon Award. Much of his work had been heavily based on blues music but since he released a lot of music with a twist, many other musicians respected him. Some of his most famous songs include; ‘Mama Tried’, ‘Silver Wings’, and ‘Sing Me Back Home’. He will forever be remembered in the country music industry and known as an influential figure by all.

For all official information you can see Merle Haggard’s website here: http://merlehaggard.com
5 Taylor Swift Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift is possibly one of country’s most famous contemporary artists as she has had a lot of fame specially to do with music singles in the charts. With a net worth of around $280 million (as of 2017), the pop-country singer remains true to her roots when releasing songs, making sure she sings country hits as well as pop music. Some of her top hits have stormed the charts and been in the top 10 for weeks on end, her style of mixing country-pop with guitar ballads has really changed up the whole music industry. As well as singing, Taylor has written many award-winning songs for various artists throughout her career which has lead to her being on the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as many other singing honours. She has sold over 40 million albums and has had 130 million single downloads which makes her one of the best and most influential people in the world. Her best songs include; ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Love Story’, and ‘Blank Space’ as well as many others.

If you’re interested in more Taylor Swift related tours, albums, or singles then you can se her official website with all the information on it, here: https://taylorswift.com
6 The Carter Family One of the oldest and most traditional country bands of all time came from Virginia and went by the name of the Carter Family. The band focused mainly on country and folk music and created music between 1927 and 1956, then again in 2012, there have been 3 different generations of the Carter Family which has meant their band has always been moving forward and changing their style as well as their members. They were extremely well known for their songs; ‘Can the Circle Be Unbroken’ and ‘Keep on the Sunny Side’. It is thought that musicians such as Johnny Cash took influence from the style of the Carter Family and created their own music. Despite only being active many years ago, the band is thought to be a very influential one, as their playing of guitar techniques and low strings brought a lot of diversity to the world of country music. They released a total of 78 rpm in their career which predates any other country music artist of their time and even storms the country music industry now.

Although they don’t have an official website you can see their unofficial profile and find out more about their history here: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Carter-family
7 Tim McGraw After beginning singing in a neotraditional country style, Tim McGraw came to the public eye in 1990 when he started singing more country pop songs. He is one of the first male country singers that has been able to successfully cross country with pop and become even more popular afterwards. Since becoming active he has released 14 studio albums (for multiple different labels) and a number of those singles have reached number 1 in the country charts. His most popular album was released in 1994 which produced many popular singles that have gone down in history as some of the best country songs of all time. He has also won a number of awards including 3 Grammy Awards, 10 American Music Awards, and his records have sold over 75 million times throughout the world. He has co-headlined multiple tours with other artists (including Faith Hill and Kenny Chesney) and has headlined 10 of his own tours venturing into many countries. Aswell as producing country music for his fans and people all around the world, Tim McGraw has been in over 15 TV programmes and films. His sound is often described as a mix between indie pop and country pop, although his earlier albums did venture more into the traditional country roots and he has slowly progressed into pop country in order to fit a wider audience.

For all tour, album, and single updates regarding Tim McGraw you can see his website here: https://timmcgraw.com
8 Carrie Underwood After winning the 4th season of American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood debuted her first album later in the year. Selling over 65 million records worldwide, she has been named one of the most successful artists of all the music genres. According to Forbes, she is the most successful American Idol winner ever as she has won so many awards and had so many honourable mentions. As well as her own Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, Carrie also has 7 Grammy Awards, 12 American Music Awards, and 10 Billboard Awards. Carrie Underwood’s voice has been commended by critiques as being highly talented and ‘enormous’ in terms of her vocal range as she is able to hold notes for a long period of time. earning over $83 million a year (as of 2014), Carrie is seen as the top-earning artist to ever come out of American Idol (with this number growing every year). She has headlined 5 tours as well as co-headlining 4 other tours (including the American Idol Live tour in 2005). Some of her most well-known songs include smash hits; ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’, ‘Remind Me’, and ‘Blown Away’. As well as song-writing and singing, Carrie has also appeared in many films and TV programmes which has increased her fame even further.

For more official information about Carrie Underwood and her upcoming albums you can see her website here: http://www.carrieunderwoodofficial.com
9 Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Along with bandmates, Bob Wills the founding father of western swing, started a countru and blues band. There have been many people stating that Bob Wills actually defined swing as a genre and along with his fiddling and string-playing, he started to move from more blues-style songs to country and western which eventually turned into the country music we known today. His sound began in the 1930’s but Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys only gained popularity in the 40’s, before picking his Texas Playboys, Bob Wills took time and consideration for the sound of the group and decided on the musicians when he wanted to add more to the band. The best and most-known country song of all time ‘San Antonio Rose’ was written by Bob Wills and had already sold a million copies by 1940 (after only being out for 1 year). The band appeared in 8 movies which made them one of the best country music artists of all time, they also played a lot of swing for soundtracks of movies and gained popularity from that. Their last ever, and possibly most well-known albums was named ‘For the Last Time’ which was released after the death of Wills.

The band doesn’t have an official website but you can find out more history and information about their albums through the Bob Wills website here: http://bobwills.com
10 JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers Inspired mainly by blues and swing music, the Kentucky founded band are one of the most current and active country bands in America right now. Their American roots as well as patriotism for their country have helped them gain a lot of popularity in the public eye especially when it comes to their music. Consisting of 3 musican members, the band allows all the members to play multiple instruments and have their time to shine throughout their performances. Comprised of Preston Corn, Jessica Wilkes, and JD Wilkes. They have been signed to different record labels and have released 3 albums all which have been popular with their fanbase. Some of their most popular songs have even been in the country music charts which includes songs like; ‘Wild Moon’, ‘Get Outta My Way’, and ‘Be Not Afraid’. Despite only forming in 2009, the band have had a lot of success and are set to keep on rising within the country music industry.

For tour updates, album releases, and all other information related to JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers you can see their official website here: http://www.jdwilkes.com



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The History of Country Music Timeline

Some of the best country bands have come from America and the world has slowly been able to see country music grow from a small loved music taste to a worldwide music industry that sells millions of records every year. There are so many artists out there that take their inspiration from country artists, yet we still find ourselves asking where it all came from? We may have some of the best country artist and musicians now, but they all had to come from somewhere, country music started off as a risk and someone out there in the music industry took the risk. That’s why we’ve put together a timeline of the key dates in country music’s history that are essential to the best country bands today.

1925 – possibly the earliest form of country music is born as ‘hillbilly’ becomes a genre of music, this will eventually be known as country but in it’s origins had a different name.

1927 – The Carter Family make their first recordings after A. P. Carter convinces his wife and sister-in-law to audition for a record producer. They are signed to the record and get $50 between the band per song they recorded plus half a cent royalty for every copy they sold.

1932 – Patsy Cline (born as Virginia Hensley) is born, who will later become thought of as the best country music artist of all time.

1934 – Bob Wills forms his western swing band names them Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, who will later be a big name in the whole of country music’s history and play an essential role in country.

1944 – the Billboard charts recognises folk music as a genre of music and mixes the genre with country, blues and jazz.

1954 – Elvis Presley embarks on his own country music tour and sets the standard for other country artists. This allows for more American country bands to start making music and puts country music in the public eye even more than it already was.

1961 – the Country Music Hall of Fame is established with 3 main artists, it then goes on to be the biggest hall of fame for the best country music bands in the world and America.

1966 – Dolly Parton debuts and releases her first few records, she then goes on to be possibly the best-selling country music artist and is compared to the likes of Patsy Cline and other country music legends.

1974 – Willie Nelson starts a Texas tradition of a 4th of July picnic near Austin in Texas. The event then later becomes an institution and Nelson is highly associated with progressive country music in the years to come.

1980 – Johnny Cash is introduced to the Country Music Hall of Fame along with many other country legends, more are then added throughout the next few decades including Ralph Peer (in 1984), and Roy Rogers (in 1988).

1990’s – Music genres start to get integrated into each other and more artists start changing up their sound to play around with different genres. There are a lot more country music artists in America than there ever has been and more legends of country are being placed on the Country Music Hall of Fame. The likes of musicians such as: Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Lee Ann Rimes are introduced onto the country music scene but make sure that the music genre stays close to its roots whilst moving towards a pop/rock sound and getting more into the billboard charts and becoming popular with the general public rather than just the country music industry fans. There are several country singers who gain international fame and storm the charts with their country music.