There are hundreds of singers in country music, but the 1990s was one of the best decades for the genre. The artists popular in this time paved the way for some of the biggest stars today, and some of them are still shining in the country music spotlight. Here are some of the best 90s country artists.
Tim McGraw is still one of the most prominent names in country music, but he entered the scene in 1990. He's famous for blending country with pop music, but most people still consider him a country artist.
He's most famous for his 1990s hit, “I Like It, I Love It,” and it's still widely played and enjoyed decades later. Throughout the 90s, he released several country hits and even became a country power couple with another country music star, Faith Hill. Much of Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraws' success came from their love of country music and singing songs together.
We can't mention Tim McGraw without speaking about his country superstar wife. Faith Hill was essentially the queen of country/pop music in the 1990s. Whenever you would turn on the radio, you were bound to hear Faith's voice at least once on your drive.
Some of the songs Faith Hill is most known for during her reign over country music in the 90s include “This Kiss” and “It Matters to Me.” She even paired up with her husband to record some of his hit songs with him to make them a duet.
Even if you are not a huge country music fan, you have probably heard of Shania Twain and maybe even love her and her music. Her 90s hits are still played on the radio, in bars, and elsewhere because they are country classics.
Shania is deemed a pop-country crossover star as most people associate Shania Twain with country music. Her songs, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” are some of the most fun songs to jam to and were beloved in the 90s and are still today.
Billy Ray Cyrus
It's no secret that Miley Cyrus is one of the most famous artists around, but before her musical debut, her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, was synonymous with country stardom in the 90s. Billy Ray was the epitome of a country music star in the 90s with his mullet and colossal hit songs.
As one of the larger-than-life country music artists in the 1990s, you can't think of this era or artist without singing the song “Achy Breaky Heart.” With his debut album in 1992, he saw great success and made what some would call a household name in the 90s.
Martina McBride began her singing career in the early 90s. After signing to her first record label in 1991, she rose to country music fame with her debut hit in 1992, “The Time Has Come.” While it takes some artists a few years or more to become synonyms with a specific genre, this wasn't an issue for Martina McBride.
While some country artists saw great success in the 90s and their careers died down, this isn't the case for Martina McBride. With other great hits like “Independence Day,” she's still singing and producing music to this day.
Patty Loveless is a remarkable country music artist who emerged on the scene in 1986 with her debut album, but it wasn't until the 90s that she started seeing more success as a singer. She's known for her neotraditional country songs, but she's dabbled in bluegrass and country pop.
Over the decade, Patty Loveless released six studio albums featuring hit after musical hits. Many of those went Gold and Platinum. If you're looking to listen to some of her most popular 90s songs, “Blame It on Your Heart” and “I Try to Think About Elvis” are some of her best.
While George Strait's country music career didn't start in the 90s, this decade was when he really made a name for himself in the country music scene. George Strait began to make country music in the 70s and 80s, which put his name on the map.
It's hard to imagine a time with George Strait wasn't a notable figure in country music with how successful he's been. With the release of his hit songs “Love Without an End, Amen” and “Check Yes or No,” he was able to solidify his place as the king of country music.
The Dixie Chicks (Now The Chicks)
This band goes by The Chicks now, but they were famously known as The Dixie Chicks in the 90s. The trio rose to country music stardom in the 90s, but even they were famous across other genres of music. The women assembled in 1989, and it wasn't long before they rose to fame.
Whether they were singing strong ballads or upbeat hits, they always stayed true to their country roots, and country music fans appreciated that. Some of their most popular songs in the 90s were “Travelin' Soldier” and probably their most famous, “Goodbye Earl.”
Another household name in country music in the 1990s was Garth Brooks. Even people who didn't listen to country music know and appreciate Garth Brooks's talent. Garth always wore bold western shirts during this decade, making him stand out.
Garth Brooks was one of the most fun performers to watch in the 90s due to his enthusiasm. Many of these 90s hits are still blared today in country bars. Arguably one of his most famous hits of the 90s is “Friends in Low Places” because you can't help but sing along when the chorus starts.
Another queen of country music in the 90s was Reba McEntire. She was a fierce force to be reckoned with in the 90s, thanks to her huge country hits. One of her most famous songs during this decade was “Fancy,” and it's still a great song to listen to now.
Even if you don't remember many of her 90s hits, if you were following country music during this time, you remember her infamous red dress at the Country Music Awards in 1993. Reba's still a huge name today, but we can thank the 90s for pushing her to fame.
One of the most successful 1990s country artists is Travis Tritt. He originally signed to a record label in 1989, but his career began in the 1990s when he started recording and producing his songs. Throughout the 90s, not only did he release his debut album, Country Club, but many more.
After the success of this Georgia-born singer’s debut album, he recorded and released six additional albums before 2000. His music was so popular that his label created and released a greatest hits album before the decade was up.
Wade Hayes' father paved the way for him to learn and become one of the best country music artists of the 90s. This Oklahoma singer and songwriter pursued country music in the 90s while playing live shows in Nashville and working day jobs.
All his hard work paid off in the 90s when his song, “Old Enough To Know Better,” brought him much success when it reached the number one country song in 1995. During the rest of the decade, he saw several other songs land on the list of the top ten songs.
Alan Jackson is a traditionalist country artist that has seen great success blending honky tonk and pop country music. His career started booming in the 90s, and while he's still touring and making music today, he has never let his success change him.
He sticks to the classic country sound that he honed in the 1990s. Fans of Alan Jackson love his songs like “Chattahoochee” and “Pop a Top.” Since launching his career in the 90s, he has gone on to record over 16 albums, several greatest hits, and Christmas music.
Tanya Tucker rose to fame in 1974 when she released her first hit single, “Delta Dawn,” at only 13 years old, but she was still one of the most famous country artists in the 90s. By the 1990s, she was considered a veteran in country music, and for a good reason.
Some people call the 90s her comeback, but most people never forgot about Tanya Tucker. A couple of her biggest 90s hits include “Hangin' In” and “Little Things.” And in 1996, she performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.
Brad Paisley is one of the most famous 90s country singers today, as he first rose to fame in the 1990s. Of the 12 studio albums that Brad Paisley has, he released his debut album in 1999.
Even though this happened at the end of the decade, most people still consider him one of the best country artists of that time. People love Brad Paisley's music because he has clever lyrics and all his songs are catchy. Even the slower songs hit you right in the heart and can resonate with most people.
Wynonna Judd is one of the best-selling country music artists of all time, and she was particularly popular in the 1990s but remains popular today. Her country music career began in the 80s, but the 90s is when she really started to shine.
Between 1992 and 1998 is when she saw breakthrough success with many hit singles and albums during this timeframe. She started this decade performing solo for the first time at the American Music Awards and went on to release popular songs like “A Bad Goodbye” and “I Saw The Light.”
Another famous country artist that is popular today that you might not know got their start in the industry in the 90s is Trace Adkins. This country singer released their debut album in 1996, and it wasn't long until he rose to the top of the charts.
Country music fans love Trace Adkins' voice because it's about as country as it gets. His deep and rugged voice makes his country songs sound that much more country. After seeing much success in the 90s, Trace Adkins released several more albums and has acted a few times.
You might be wondering why Trisha Yearwood's name is on our list of the best 90s country artists because you only know her as the Food Network personality she is now, but true 90s country music fans remember her for her music. Trisha Yearwood released her debut single in 1991, “She's in Love With the Boy.”
The song became the number one song almost immediately, prompting her to record and release several other hits like “How Do I Live” and “Walkaway Joe.” While she isn't involved in country music as much anymore, she went on to marry superstar Garth Brooks in 2005.
Sammy Kershaw was born in 1958 in Louisiana, so he grew up around country music. He released his debut album, “Don't Go Near the Water,” in 1991, and while that was quite successful, he didn't see the success you think of when hearing his name until the mid-90s.
He released his second album in 1993, his fourth in 1994, and then with the release of his fourth album in 1996, his career started growing to new heights. Since the 1990s, he's released 16 studio albums and shows no signs of slowing down.
Not all country artists in the 90s remained in the spotlight, but that doesn't mean they didn't significantly impact the genre. Deana Carter is one of those fantastic country artists that rose to fame in the 90s.
Deana Carter released her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This? and reached the Billboard Country charts' number two spot. Even if you haven't heard much about Deana Carter, you most likely know her most famous and award-winning song, “Strawberry Wine.”
When you hear or see the name Kenny Chesney, it's hard not to think of him as a country music legend. While he produced and released two albums before the 90s, it wasn't until he released his third studio album, Me and You, in the mid-90s that he started reaching the stardom he has now.
The biggest hit off his life-changing album, “When I Close My Eyes,” is still a widely popular song today. Since his third album's release launched his career, he's released more than 19 albums and has won many awards.
Vince Gill is no stranger to the country music genre. His career started before the 90s, in the mid-70s, when he was in a country-rock band called Pure Prairie League, but it wasn't until he broke out on his own to start his solo career that he saw the fame he has today.
His solo work has put him on the map and helped make what country music in the 90s was. Some of his most famous songs from the 90s are “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and “I Still Believe in You.”
Shenandoah is a country music band that formed in the 1980s and was very popular until they disbanded in 1997. Members Ralph Ezell, Marty Rayborn, Jim Seales, Mike Mcguire, and Stan Thorn were famous for blending contemporary and traditional country music.
In 1990, the band released their biggest hit, “Next to You, Next to Me,” which remained number one on the charts for three weeks. They released several more studio albums and a Christmas album before disbanding in 1997 and reuniting in 2000.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter is a New Jersey singer and songwriter who signed to a record label in the 1980s. They marketed her as a country music singer, but she's known to play rock, folk, and other genres. Since her label marketed her as a country singer, she became a star in country music in the 90s.
To this day, Mary Chapin Carpenter's most successful album was her Come on Come On, which came out in 1992. Major hits you might know from her are “Passionate Kisses” and “The Hard Way.”
Before Garth Brooks rose to fame in the 90s, Clint Black was probably one of the most popular male country singers. Clint Black stayed popular throughout the 90s with three excellent albums with hits that are still listened to today.
He had three significant albums come out during the decade, Put Yourself in my Shoes, The Hard Way, and One Emotion. People love his neotraditional country sound with hints of pop music, and while others don't write their own songs, Clint Black did until 2007.
Keith Urban is a New Zealand-born Australian singer that you probably wouldn't expect to be one of the best country artists in the 90s, but he was. Keith Urban originally signed with an Australian label in the early 1990s and saw some success before packing up and moving to Nashville in 1992.
He wrote several albums during the 90s, including a Christmas album that's a must-listen album. He released his debut American album, Keith Urban, in 1999, which helped launch his career into what it is today.
Dolly Parton is one of the most famous 90s country musicians out there. She's known for her voluminous blonde hair, vibrant outfits, and sweet disposition.
While Dolly Parton's albums in the 90s weren't her best-selling, that doesn't mean she wasn't a prominent figure in the 1990s music industry. Much of Dolly Parton's success in the 90s came from recording songs for TV shows and movies, but this kept her relevant to continue her success after the 90s.
Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn is one of the most iconic country music duos ever to grace the music industry. This duo was widely successful in the 90s and helped make country music what it was during that decade. It wouldn't have been the same without them.
Their enthusiastic live performances draw crowds of thousands of people when they perform because even if you're not a country music fan, they know how to please a crowd. Some of their top 90s hits include “My Maria” and “Only in America.” They're still touring and making country music worthwhile today.
Another prevalent figure in country music today that saw a lot of success in the 90s is Toby Keith. He released his debut album, Toby Keith, in 1993 and saw a lot of success early on. Some of the best singles on this debut album include “Should've Been a Cowboy” and “He Ain't Worth Missing.”
Many of the songs off his debut album appeared on the top of the charts regularly throughout the decade. Toby's success in the 90s molded him into the star he is now.
Sawyer Brown is a country band that had several great hits throughout the 1990s. Originating from Apopka, Florida, this band got its start in the early 80s but wasn't very popular until the 90s.
Throughout the decade, they had some fantastic singles come out. Some of their most popular singles include “Thank God for You” and “Step That Step.” Towards the mid to late 1990s, they released an album with their greatest hits up until that point.
Before Chely Wright became the activist she is today, she rose to fame with her country music talent. She began her country music career in 1993 and has had several hit singles.
One of her top country singles is “Single White Female.” Growing up in Kansas, she struggled with her identity when she realized she liked women and how that conflicted with her Christian faith and country music at the time. Luckily, that never stopped her, and she became one of the best country artists of the 90s.
Clay Walker has a total of 11 albums, and five of those came out in the 90s, making him one of the best but most famous country artists during that time. All five of these albums went at least gold, platinum, or both.
His first album, Clay Walker, came out in 1993 and jump-started his singing career. Off of this album, he had two number one hits, “What's It To You” and “Live Until I Die.”
If the name Pam Tillis sounds familiar, it’s because she’s the daughter of the famous country singer, Mel Tillis. Pam’s a talented singer, songwriter, model, and actress who saw a lot of success within country music in the 90s.
She released several great albums throughout the 90s, but if one thing put her on the map as one of the best country artists in the 90s, it was her single, “Maybe It Was Memphis.”
John Michael Montgomery
John Michael Montgomery has country music running through his veins. He started playing country music with his family before stepping out on his own. The 90s brought him a lot of success in the music industry.
His debut album, Life's a Dance, was very popular, and the single “I Love the Way You Love Me” is arguably one of the best songs he's released. After this debut album, he released five more studio albums in the 90s.
Last but not least, we have LeAnn Rimes. She was one of the youngest, best country artists in the 90s. At only 13 years old, she released her debut album. In 1996, the album Blue saw success almost overnight, primarily her single, “Blue.”
This song and album were what launched LeAnn Rimes into stardom. LeAnn was one of the youngest stars to see great success, her music from the 90s resonated with the hearts of many people in the United States and the world. By sticking to her roots in Texas, she was able to create touching country songs that everyone in the 90s loved.
Top 90s Country Artists, Final Thoughts
These country artists were some of the biggest names in country music in the 90s. Even some of the songs released in the 90s are popular today. Next time you feel nostalgic, you can't go wrong with listening and learning from these fantastic 90s country artists.