100+ Best Country Singers from the 80s – Complete List

The 80s were a time of great change for country music. New artists emerged old stars faded away, and the genre saw its biggest growth ever.

In this list, we’ve gathered 100 of the best country singers from that decade.

From superstar duos to up-and-coming newcomers, these are the singers who rocked the charts and kept fans alike tuned in.


Top Best 80s Country Singers

Picking out the best country singers of the 80s is no easy task. This decade saw the rise of some of the biggest names in music, and there are plenty of greats to choose from.

That being said, we’ve done our best to narrow it down to a top 10. So, here it is based on critical acclaim, popularity, and influence over the genre:

  • Garth Brooks
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Hank Williams Jr.
  • George Strait
  • Alan Jackson
  • Reba McEntire
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Randy Travis
  • The Judds
  • Keith Whitley

Read More – Popular Country Singers

80s Male Country Singers

In the 1980s, male country singers were some of the most popular artists in the music industry.

Artists like George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Randy Travis dominated the country music charts, and their songs were some of the most played on country radio.

These singers brought a fresh sound to country music, and they helped to make it one of the most popular genres in America. Their songs told stories about life in rural America, and they appealed to fans of all ages.

In addition to their musical talents, these singers were also known for their great sense of humor and their down-to-earth personalities. They were able to connect with their fans on a personal level, and they remained popular long after the 80s ended.

  • Randy Travis
  • Vince Gill
  • Earl Thomas Conley
  • T. G. Sheppard
  • Johnny Lee
  • Steve Wariner
  • John Anderson
  • Dan Seals
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Chris LeDoux

80s Female Country Singers

Although male country singers were more prevalent in the 1980s, there were also a number of female artists who made a name for themselves. These women brought a different perspective to country music that helped to shape the genre.

Some of the most successful female country singers of the 80s included Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Patsy Cline.

Reba McEntire rose to fame in the early 1980s with her hit song “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” She went on to record a number of other successful country songs during the decade, including “Fancy,” “One Promise Too Late,” and “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.”

Dolly Parton, another popular female country singer of the 80s, is best known for her song “9 to 5,” which topped the country charts in 1981. She also had success with her album “Heartbreak Express,” which was released in 1982.

These are just a few of the many female country singers who made a name for themselves in the 1980s. There are many other talented artists who also deserve to be included on this list.

Here are some of the best that deserves your attention.

  • DOLLY PARTON
  • Kathy Mattea
  • Juice Newton
  • Deborah Allen
  • Suzy Bogguss
  • Tanya Tucker
  • Trisha Yearwood
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Patty Loveless

80s Blonde Country Singers

While there are certainly many brunette country singers out there today, in the 80s it seemed like all the biggest names in country music were blondes.

Women like Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton were all huge stars, and their golden locks helped to set them apart from the pack.

These days, blonde country singers are a bit harder to come by. However, there are still some talented women out there with light hair and big voices.

Miranda Lambert is definitely one of them, and she’s been dominating the country music scene for over a decade now. Other recent examples include Cam and Maren Morris.

It’s always interesting to look back at what was popular in past decades, and the trend of blonde country singers is no exception. That said here are some of the best blonde country singers from the 80s.

  • Kathy Mattea
  • Dolly Parton
  • Lorrie Morgan
  • Anne Murray
  • Alison Krauss
  • Trisha Yearwood
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Connie Smith
  • Lucinda Williams

80s Western Country Singers

In the early 1980s, a new sound was emerging in country music. Singers like Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, and Reba McEntire were mixing traditional country with a more modern sound, creating what is now known as “western” country.

This new style was heavily influenced by the outlaw country movement of the 1970s, which saw artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings break away from the mainstream country and create their own unique sound. The western country singers of the 80s took this same approach, mixing traditional elements with a more contemporary sound.

This resulted in a fresh and exciting new genre of country music that appealed to both fans of traditional country and those who were looking for something new. These singers helped to define the western sound and bring it to the forefront of the country music scene.

  • Chris LeDoux
  • Randy Travis
  • John Denver
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Don Williams
  • Kathy Mattea
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Earl Thomas Conley
  • Eddie Rabbitt

Old Country Singers of the 80s

Country music in the 1980s was dominated by veterans like George Jones and Willie Nelson. These artists had been popular since the 1950s, and they continued to produce hits throughout the 1980s.

Their sound was the classic country, and their lyrics were often about heartbreak and loss. While they were no longer as popular as they once were, these singers still had a large following among country fans.

In addition to Jones and Nelson, other old-school country singers of the 1980s included Merle Haggard, Crystal Gayle, and Ronnie Milsap.

  • Merle Haggard
  • George Jones
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Roy Acuff
  • Johnny Cash
  • Bill Monroe
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Buck Owens
  • Ray Price
  • Eddy Arnold

80s Country Rock Singers

Country rock is a subgenre of popular music that combines elements of country music and rock ‘n’ roll. It first came to prominence in the early 1970s, when singers like Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers began to mix the two genres.

Country rock quickly became its own scene, with its own sound and style. By the 1980s, country rock was one of the most popular genres of music.

Some of the most successful country-rock singers of the 1980s include Emmylou Harris, George Strait, and Vince Gill. These singers popularized the genre and made it into one of the most well-known.

  • Neil Young
  • Dickey Betts
  • Charlie Daniels
  • Jerry Garcia
  • Steve Earle
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Hank Williams Jr.
  • John Fogerty
  • Kid Rock
  • Willie Nelson

American Country Singers of the 80s

There is something very special about American country music, and it’s no wonder that most of the 80s best country singers were from the United States.

One of the things that made these american country singers of 80s so special was their ability to connect with their audiences. They were able to create songs that spoke to the everyday person, and this is what helped them become some of the most successful artists of their time.

Another thing that set these singers apart was their unique sound. They weren’t afraid to experiment with different styles, and this helped them create some truly memorable music.

Finally, they were able to stay popular for many years by constantly releasing new material and touring extensively. This allowed them to reach fans all over the world and cement their status as some of the best country singers of all time.

One of the things that made these american country singers of 80s so special was their ability to connect with their audiences. They were able to create songs that spoke to the everyday person, and this is what helped them become some of the most successful artists of their time.

Another thing that set these singers apart was their unique sound. They weren’t afraid to experiment with different styles, and this helped them create some truly memorable music.

Finally, they were able to stay popular for many years by constantly releasing new material and touring extensively. This allowed them to reach fans all over the world and cement their status as some of the best country singers of all time.

  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Charley Pride
  • Dolly Parton
  • Reba McEntire
  • Vince Gill
  • Randy Travis
  • Roger Miller
  • Charlie Rich
  • Bobby Bare
  • Vern Gosdin

80s Black Country Singers

Black country singers in the 80s were a force to be reckoned with. These talented artists weren’t afraid to push boundaries and create unique music that was unlike anything anyone had ever heard before.

They were also able to connect with their audiences in a way that few other artists could, and this helped them build a large and loyal fan base.

Whether they were singing soul music, rock, or country, these artists had a way of being both raw and genuine while still sounding polished and professional.

They were true trailblazers, and their impact is still being felt today.

  • Charley Pride
  • Darius Rucker
  • Aaron Neville
  • Tina Turner
  • Ray Charles
  • Lionel Richie
  • Al Green
  • O. B. McClinton

Old School Country Singers of the 80s

Country music has always been popular, but there was a specific time in the 1980s when it was especially big. This was due, in part, to a group of old-school country singers who were making music that appealed to both older and younger generations. These artists included George Jones, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, all of whom had been performing for many years before the 80s.

Despite being old-schoolers, these singers were able to stay current and relevant by adapting their sound to match the times. For example, George Jones started incorporating more rock elements into his music, while Merle Haggard experimented with outlaw country. Willie Nelson embraced the hippie culture and incorporated folk and country rock into his sound. And Dolly Parton embraced pop music and released a string of successful crossover hits.

Regardless of how they changed their sound, these old-school country singers had one thing in common: they all made great music in the 80s that continues to fascinate and inspire fans today.

  • Sonny James
  • Tom T. Hall
  • Faron Young
  • Barbara Mandrell
  • Glen Campbell
  • Rodney Crowell
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • John Conlee
  • Johnny Paycheck
  • Carl Smith

Forgotten Country Singers of the 80s

Although they may not be as well-known as some of their counterparts, there are a number of country singers who rose to prominence in the 80s and have since been forgotten.

This is likely due to a number of factors, including changes in the country music industry and the fact that these artists didn’t have the same level of success as some of the other singers on this list.

However, that doesn’t mean that their music wasn’t any good. In fact, many of these forgotten country singers made some great music in the 80s and they deserve to be remembered for their contributions to one of America’s most iconic musical genres.

Here are some of the forgotten country singers from the 80s that deserve your attention and to be remembered.

  • Skeeter Davis
  • Ferlin Husky
  • Susan Raye
  • Del Reeves
  • Sammi Smith
  • Hank Thompson
  • Jerry Reed
  • Nat Stuckey
  • Faron Young
  • Dick Curless

Country Pop Singers of the 80s

Country pop is a subgenre of country music that combines elements of country and pop. It emerged in the 1960s and was pioneered by artists such as Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton.

These artists combined country music with elements of pop, rock, and soul to create a new sound that appealed to a wider audience. Country pop reached its peak in the 1980s, but it remains popular today.

Some of the most famous country-pop singers of the 80s include Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, and Crystal Gayle.

  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Celine Dion
  • Brenda Lee
  • Bob Dylan
  • Dolly Parton
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Glen Campbell
  • Sylvia Musician

Popular Country Singers of the 80s

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular country singers of the 80s. These are the artists that dominated the charts, sold millions of records, and played to sold-out stadiums full of adoring fans.

Not to mention, these artists have left a lasting impact on the country music industry, and their influence can still be heard in the songs of today’s top country singers.

Mickey Gilley
Ricky Van Shelton
Lacy J. Dalton
Jessi Colter
Earl Thomas Conley
Steve Wariner
John Anderson
Suzy Bogguss
Johnny Lee
Keith Whitley