Country music, which mainly was recognized for the gospel or spiritual songs or American folk music, has diversified as the music industry progressed. Country music first acquired popularity in the 1940’s in places such as the Grand Ole Opry House, also known as the world-famous home of country music. It was one of the most popular radio genres in the United States. However, times have changed, and now, “country music” covers a wide range of styles and sub-genres. True, the United States has produced many well-known country performers who are still famous today. Cowboys singing and tapping their feet to these folk tunes come to mind when you think about country music. So, let’s take a look at some of the most well-known country music artists.
An American singer and writer, Dolly Rebecca Parton, is best recognised for her country music career. “Hello, I’m Dolly” was her first album, released in 1967, and it became a hit in the 1970s and 1980s. She has sold over 100 million recordings globally, including Dolly Records, which she founded. She has received 11 Grammy Awards along with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
She has also received several notable distinctions, including being one of just seven female performers to receive the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton was elected to the “Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999”. She’s written over 3,000 songs, all of which have become global pop hits.
Carrie Marie Underwood is a country music artist from the United States who came to fame after winning American Idol in 2005. Underwood became the first country singer to achieve the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her debut hit, “Inside Your Heaven.”
Some Hearts (2005), her first album, became the highest-selling debut solo female album in the history of country music. She has been awarded three Grammys, including Best New Artist. Underwood’s albums have sold more than 70 million copies around the world. She is also the top female artist of all time and the most outstanding female country artist.
Johnny Cash was an American music artist who primarily sang about sadness, moral difficulty, and salvation. Cash was among the most thriving musicians, selling more than 90 million albums globally. His songs spanned genres, including country, rock and roll, and gospel. Because of his eclectic musical tastes, he was nominated for various country music, rock n roll and gospel categories. The 2005 film Walk the Line chronicled his musical career.
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American musician who became one of country music’s most well-known musicians because of the acclaimed and economic success with Shotgun Willie (1973), as well as Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978). Nelson combines a wide range of musical elements to produce his unique brand of country music, which is a mix of jazz, pop, blues, rock, and folk. For his solo rendition of “Always On My Mind,” he earned a Grammy in several categories.