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Top 10 Country Singers

Updated on March 27, 2022
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Cathryn is a published poet and writer with articles and stories on ehow, Livestrong, and Hubpages, also ghostwriting stories on Upworks.

I grew up listening to country music. My parents listened to Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, among others. I preferred the rock and roll my brothers listened to. Dad had three 8 track tapes he played when we went up north--Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, and John Denver. My sister and I used to beg him, "Please put in John Denver, Dad." As a result, I received a lot of John Denver albums as Christmas gifts.

My husband and I shared an appreciation for rock and roll. Then, about three years before he died, he started listening to the newer style of country music in his garage. He loved Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and Martina McBride as well as some of the older country music he heard on his stations. Eventually, some of it grew on me, and a couple of country songs joined some old rock songs as "our songs".

Though I wasn't a country fan, I feel qualified to submit a list of the top 10 country singers because of my history as a country music listener. In a way, this is the list of country music fans, since it was influenced by my husband and my parents.

1. Carrie Underwood, though relatively new, has one of the best female singing voices I've ever heard. Emotions and nuances weave through all her songs. She's a joy to listen to and to watch. I never get tired of hearing her sing "Before He Cheats."

2. Tim McGraw has a good voice, great presence, and wonderful songs. Besides his own hits, he provides back-up vocals for a wide assortment of singers from all genres. I could listen to "Live Like You Were Dying" over and over, and his voice blends so well with that of his wife, Faith Hill, on "Like We Never Loved at All."

3. I saw Martina McBride at the Genesee County Fair. She was so friendly, bubbly, cute, and tiny. But there's nothing tiny about her voice. Her vocals are beautiful and her words meaningful. I especially love her song "In My Daughter's Eyes."

4. Willie Nelson is homely and doesn't have the greatest voice in the world. But he can play that guitar, and he has personality and a unique style that make you want to hear certain songs sung only by him. I don't want to hear any version of "Always on My Mind" but his, and I can't even begin to imagine anyone but Wille singing "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground." Nor do I want to!

5. John Denver turned out to be much more than an acceptable replacement for Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard. His tunes were in turn haunting and catchy, and the genuine feeling came through in his voice. "Sunshine on My Shoulders", "The Eagle and the Hawk," and "Annie's Song" are some of my sentimental favorites, and I smile when I hear "Grandma's Feather Bed" and "Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio."

6. Hank Williams--Senior, not Junior--was an icon, a legend, and a role model for many country singers. No one sounds like him. No one sings like him. And no one can match the songs he sang.

7. Garth Brooks is not my choice. I probably never would have listened to him. But my husband loved his songs, and his top favorite country song was "Friends in Low Places." I can't listen to that song without smiling, remembering how my husband used to crank the radio up so the whole neighborhood could hear, then bellow the words along with Garth. For that reason alone, Garth Brooks would earn a place on my list, but he also deserves a spot by virtue of his talent and appeal.

8. I have to include Shania Twain on my list. My husband and his sons loved her because she was hot and could sing. She grew on me because she did sing beautifully and her songs have a lot of meaning. "From This Moment" became the main song at many weddings, but my personal favorite was, "You're Still the One." That became one of "our songs."

9. Here I am, running out of numbers and still wanting to mention Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and Johnny Cash for the memories and the wonderful songs they gave me. I have to put all of them here in the same spot because I had to save the best for last.

10. My favorite country singer is one from my childhood. Roger Miller sang creative, funny, catchy and entertaining songs. At my Dad's retirement party, my sister and brothers and I put an old Roger Miller album on the stereo and stood there and sang along with it. We probably hadn't heard it in ten years, but we knew every word of every song on that whole album. Giving the world songs like that--now, that's talent.


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