Country musicians come and go, but only the best of the bunch manage to stay for years after their debut. Many singers have had trouble maintaining an audience, but not these entries. From tried and true veterans to underground artists, this is our list of the best 2020s country artists.
1. Morgan Wallen
This list wouldn't be complete without Morgan Wallen as our number one entry. His song “7 Summers” would become Apple Music's song with the most streams on the day of its release. Wallen's 2020 album, Dangerous: The Double Album, topped charts everywhere, including Billboard's Hot 200.
In 2021, Wallen received the spot for Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album at the Country Now Awards. His music has millions of views across streaming platforms. Wallen has also collaborated with various other country artists like Florida Georgia Line, making him one of the best country artists of the 2020s.
2. Walker Hayes
Walker Hayes has had one of the best years of any country artist of the 2020s. In 2022, Walker released Country Stuff The Album, which would be his breakthrough into the music world.
The album features his most successful song, “Fancy Like.” This song would reach the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs at number one. Other songs on the album, like “AA,” are extremely catchy and will have you humming the rest of the day.
3. Jordan Davis
Jordan Davis, a country pop singer from America, has cemented himself as one of the best 2020s country singers. “Buy Dirt” reached the top of the US Country Airplay and US Country charts, a testament to his popularity.
Some of his other recent work includes “Detours” and “Church in a Chevy.” He also released the song “Lose You” in 2020 and saw it reach 26th place on the US Digital Songs chart. Davis has received significant attention for his work due to his impressive talent and signature country sound.
4. Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan was very busy at the beginning of the 2020s, providing some of his best recent work. The famous singer released one album in 2020, Born Here Live Here Die Here, and a deluxe edition of it the following year.
Bryan's career has been seeing increasingly impressive milestones. He's one of the most successful musicians in the world, selling over 75 million records over his relatively young career. The singer is also a judge on the show American Idol.
5. Chris Young
Chris Young is a country musician from Tennessee. He received praise throughout the 2000s for his songwriting, and in 2009, Young was nominated for a Grammy. But his career went up a notch with the release of hit songs and an international tour.
In 2020, Chris Young wrote “Famous Friends” with Kane Brown, another contender featured on this list for the best country artist. It reached number one on both the Airplay and Canadian charts. The song was so popular it led to Young releasing an album of the same name the following year.
6. Sam Hunt
For an artist with three albums, it's uncommon that Hunt has reached such levels of influence and acclaim. He has yielded an impressive nine million monthly listeners on Spotify and has songs with nearly a billion listens.
Hunt's album, Southside, is a mainstream hit. It features numerous 12 songs and only lasts for a little over 39 minutes. “Body Like A Back Road” has over 700 million listens on Spotify and is his most successful track. These impressive statistics demonstrate Hunt's popularity as one of the best 2020s country musicians.
7. Thomas Rhett
Rhett has released two successful studio albums since 2020. These albums include Country Again: Side A and Where We Started. He also won an award for Entertainer of the Year in 2020 at the Academy of Music Awards.
Rhett is respected for his work and collaborations with other artists. Notably, he took the stage of American Idol to sing with Katy Perry during the show's Season 20 finale. It looks like the musician will have a defining role in Country music going forward into the coming decade.
8. Kane Brown
Kane Brown is a talented singer with a lot under his belt in terms of 2020 releases. His third EP, EP Mixtape Volume 1, left a lot of good impressions. The 2020 album has one of the singer's best country songs, “Cool Again,” which features the rapper Nelly.
If you think album sales are the best way of measuring an artist's success, wait until you find out Kane Brown has an iHeartRadio music festival hologram. It seems like Michael Jackson and Tupac are no longer the only ones with hologram shows!
9. Zach Bryan
Zach Bryan is fresh out the gates with a gallery of country music hits. The 26-year-old artist began his career in 2017, but he formally began to take off with the release of DeAnn, a 2019 studio album named after his late mother. His alternative style is notably unique.
DeAnn, Something in the Orange, American Heartbreak, and now Summertime Blues are all albums Bryan has released within the early 2020s. Most of the songs on these albums already have tens of millions of listens, and there's no sign of slowing down.
10. Luke Combs
Luke Combs is one of the most promising artists in the genre today. His debut album, This One's For You, was only made in 2017. So far, he has released one studio album in the 2020s, his summer album Growin' Up.
The album features 12 tracks and vocals from Miranda Lambert. It's a testament to Combs' success as a country singer that the album topped the US Top Country Albums chart in 2022. Combs also has two iHeartRadio music awards and six Country Music Association Awards.
11. Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton isn't a novice when it comes to entertainment. His style derives from folk and blues musicians of the past. Some people have even compared it to that of Merle Haggard. As of 2022, the artist has released four albums.
Stapleton released his most recent album in November 2020. The album Starting Over received the Best Country Album at the 64th Grammy Awards in 2022. The album also won two previous awards in 2021. It's hard to imagine a better start to the decade for Stapleton.
12. Tim McGraw
With all due respect, Tim McGraw is no spring chicken. The legend first reached the top of the Billboard Country Music chart in 1994. That being said, the man is back for the 2020s in a big way.
In 2020, McGraw released his 16th studio album, Here On Earth. The album contains 16 songs and is available in several editions, including:
- The standard edition
- The deluxe edition
- The 2021 Ultimate Edition
At the beginning of 2022, he was working on a new album, which fans anticipate eagerly.
13. Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean is, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable artists in the genre today. His talent is unquestioned. Aldean's Spotify receives over 8 million listens a month. The artist also has a 2010 album, My Kinda Party, that went quadruple-platinum.
Aldean's latest release is his 2022 album, Georgia. The album features songs like “Whiskey Me Away,” “The State I'm In,” and “Trouble With A Heartbreak.” These songs are slow and melodic rock-country summer hits that any country fan will love.
14. Eric Church
Church released the triple-album Heart & Soul on April 16th, 2021. He also released the single “Does To Me,” which reached the top of the Country Airplay chart. Eric Church has worked with other country music artists, including Luke Combs.
The artist has produced a variety of other 2020s singles as well, such as “Crazyland,” “Doing Life With Me,” “Never Break Heart,” “Bunch-of-Nothing,” and “Through My Ray-Bans.” Church's unique style of songwriting makes him a modern favorite.
15. Cole Swindell
Swindell's career is no joke. The musician has released 10 singles that would individually top either the Country Airplay or Hot Country Songs chart. His most successful record release of the 2020s is Stereotype.
Stereotype has many iconic Swindell songs, like “Never Say Never,” “Down to the Bar,” “Single Saturday Night,” and “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.” Swindell is one the ultimate artists for barbecues and parties.
16. Jackson Dean
Dean is one of the freshest musicians in the Country genre today, having started his music career in 2021. His debut studio album, Greenbroke, has seen popularity among country fans. One of the album's most famous songs, “Don't Come Looking,” has over seven million listens.
Not only has Dean released a successful album and several singles, but he also opened for Brooks and Dunn's 2022 Reboot Tour. His sound and style are well-liked by newer audiences. In 2021, Dean signed on to Big Machine Records, guaranteeing his continued success.
17. Brett Eldredge
Brett Eldredge has been one of the more popular artists of the last ten years. The 36-year-old musician has released three albums in the current decade, including Sunday Drive and Mr. Christmas.
Sunday Drive has 12 tracks and features backup vocals from artist Sarah Buxton. His album also featured Heather Lynn Morgan, with whom he released a number one single before in 2014.
18. Cody Johnson
Cody Johnson is hot off the block with an October 2021 release called Human: the Double Album. Johnson started his professional career with a bang, as his debut album came out in 2019. The 2021 album features vocals from Ingrid Andress.
Johnson's 2021 album features a lead song called “Til You Can't.” This song is about persevering through the tough times in your life, even when things seem bleak. Impressively, the music video has over 25 million views on YouTube.
19. Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood is one of the titans of the music industry. She's a household name with international recognition. With how much of a music veteran she is, it makes sense that she is hitting the 2020s hard with her latest releases.
Underwood was extremely busy in the first two years of the decade. Her albums, My Savior and Denim & Rhinestones, have a lot of soul elements. Time Magazine even considered Carrie one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
20. Clayton Shay
Clayton Shay is an up-and-coming artist with rising mainstream success. Clayton's career formally took off after 2020, with the release of his single “Girl Like You.”
Shay has come out with more singles since “Girl Like You,” including:
- “Singed, Another Man”
- “Good For Nuthin'”
- “Knee On”
He showed no sign of slowing down and released the hit “Island.” The song is about breakups and has a catchy tempo and melody.
21. Madeline Edwards
Madeline Edwards is a somewhat underground artist with plenty of potential for the coming decade. She receives more than 200,000 listeners on her Spotify per month, and her music has received plenty of attention in the 2020s.
Born and raised in Texas, Madeline's strong singing voice incorporates elements of blues, rock, R&B, and soul. She has a powerful vibrato and a very soothing tone. Madeline Edwards has one album and ten singles under her belt.
22. Colter Wall
Colter Wall is a Country artist with a loyal cult following. He makes bleak, gritty songs full of storytelling and with no shortage of melody. His 2020 album cements him as one of the top contenders in this list of the best 2020s country singers.
Western Swing and Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs are more upbeat than Wall's previous albums. It has some of his most memorable work, including his cover of the 1950s song, “Cowpoke.”
23. Dan + Shay
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have been one of Country music's greatest duos in the last few years. Dan+Shay has numerous successful albums and singles and began its career in the mid-2010s.
The duo started the 2020s off with the release of their 2021 album, Good Things. Good Things peaked at 31st place on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in the US. The music duo would collaborate with Carrie Underwood a month after the album's release on the cover “Only Us.”
24. Tim Cote
Tim Cote is a somewhat underground country artist who appears to be a promising rise in the coming years. Cote has traffic on Spotify, where he receives about 100,000 listens a month. He is self-taught and appeared on The Voice.
Cote has had many releases stretching over the last two years. Some of his most recent singles include “You Feel Like Coming Home,” “Sandbar,” and “Burnin' Gas.” His most recent release, “More of the Same,” has a catchy hook and the makings of a great country hit.
25. Blake Shelton
Where would country music be without Blake Shelton? This contemporary country legend made waves with the release of his 2021 album Body Language. This studio album is Shelton's first in a whopping four years.
Few musicians are as crucial to the genre as Shelton has been in the last two decades. Outside of making music, Shelton owns a restaurant chain called Ole Red, named after one of his most iconic songs.
26. Florida Georgia Line
The duo may have been around for over a decade, but the 2020s have proven that the group is ready to take on the future. Their 2021 album, Life Rolls On, features hit singles such as “I Love My Country” and “Long Live.”
“Long Live” is very well-written, reaching number one on the Billboard US Country Airplay chart. The song also topped the Canada Country chart and reached 45 on the Hot 100.
27. Keith Urban
Country fans are no stranger to Keith Urban. The New Zealand artist has been producing hits for several decades now. He released the album The Speed of Now Part 1 on September 18th, 2020.
The album boasted a number one spot at the top of the US Top Country Albums chart and the Australian Albums chart. Keith also voiced a character in the 2021 children's movie, Back to the Outback.
Top 2020s Country Artists, Final Thoughts
Whether you're young or old, the talent on this list goes without question. Country musicians come in all different forms; some are upbeat and fuse their style with pop, while others are more melancholic and grunge. But these musicians are the best 2020s country artists.
We hope you enjoyed our list as much as the music on it!