The 1990s was an iconic moment in country music history.
The pop influence was only getting stronger.
The style was changing.
The newcomers were taking over.
And the legends (sorry, Johnny Cash) had to adapt.
Ultimately, the decade became one of the greatest in country music history.
Here are the 30 best 90s country artists and singers to give you the nostalgia of the glorious decade.
Table of Contents
- 1. Johnny Cash
- 2. Keith Urban
- 3. Garth Brooks
- 4. Shania Twain
- 5. Alan Jackson
- 6. Martina McBride
- 7. Reba McEntire
- 8. Tim McGraw
- 9. George Strait
- 10. Toby Keith
- 11. Trisha Yearwood
- 12. Faith Hill
- 13. The Chicks
- 14. Billy Ray Cyrus
- 15. Kenny Chesney
- 16. Brad Paisley
- 17. Trace Adkins
- 18. Vince Gill
- 19. Clint Black
- 20. Dolly Parton
- 21. LeAnn Rimes
- 22. John Michael Montgomery
- 23. Patty Loveless
- 24. Wade Hayes
- 25. Tanya Tucker
- 26. Pam Tillis
- 27. Brooks & Dunn
- 28. Diamond Rio
- 29. Sawyer Brown
- 30. Wynonna Judd
- Best 90s Country Artists & Singers – Final Thoughts
1. Johnny Cash
Ah! The Man In Black.
Johnny Cash is one of the best things to come out of Kingsland.
He’s best remembered for his powerful lyrical messages, his songs often packed with themes of morality, sorrow and heartbreak, regret, and redemption.
Cash’s musical journey began in the 50s.
But he was still going strong in the 90s, becoming better and better even with the sudden pop-rock influences.
The lyrics to his signature songs, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” and “Man In Black,” are still engraved in many people’s hearts.
2. Keith Urban
Keith Urban is a Grammy-winning American-Australian singer revered for his contributions to the country music scene.
Urban started his career in Australian TV talent shows before moving to the US with his parents in the early 90s.
The singer stands out with his pop-rock combination.
3. Garth Brooks
Everybody who listened to 90s country music knows Garth Brooks.
He always grabbed attention with his classic country songs with pop elements.
The Oklahoma-born singer released 13 studio albums and 67 singles during his career.
He’s won multiple honors, including 17 American Music Awards, the RIAA Award, and 2 Grammy Awards.
See also: Best Garth Brooks Songs
4. Shania Twain
Eileen Regina Edwards, or Shania Twain, was dominant in the 90s with her magical country melodies and captivating pop vocals.
She became the best-selling female country star in history, having sold more than 100 million records throughout her career.
That also earned her the Queen of Country Pop title.
5. Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” is one of the best line dance songs in history.
He blends pop-country music with honky tonk and remains a household name in country music.
After rising to fame in the 90s, Alan continued to tour the globe, spreading good vibes and music to his loyal fans.
Some call him a neo-traditional country star because he stuck to his classic country style.
Throughout his career, Jackson sold over 75 million records worldwide, had 66 songs on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and won 2 Grammy Awards.
6. Martina McBride
Martina McBride excelled with her debut single, “The Time Has Come.”
She identified herself with the neo-traditionalist sound that had made Alan Jackson a darling in the country music scene.
And a few years after her breakthrough, she became a fan-favorite in country music.
Her game-changing albums, Evolution and Wild Angels, marked an important milestone in her career.
And today, many consider her one of the greatest female country singers.
7. Reba McEntire
By the turn of the 90s, Reba McEntire was already a household name in country music.
Or at least real country lovers already knew her name.
As the 90s music evolved in style and popularity, Reba perfected her craft, pushing it to the next level.
And with hits like “Fancy,” there was no doubting her talent.
An unfortunate plane accident in 1991 almost threatened her career.
But in the spirit of positivity, she produced a new album (For My Broken Heart) in memory of the accident victims, which became a commercial success.
In the early 2000s, Reba had a newfound love for acting, starring in her television series while doing other projects.
8. Tim McGraw
If you are new to the country music genre, chances are you’ve heard Tim McGraw’s name.
If you listened to 90s country music, you would remember the famous country crooner who took the country music scene by storm.
Many upcoming singers looked up to Tim McGraw because he was more than just a country singer.
He was a role model and a muscular husband any wife would want to submit to.
Tim McGraw’s adventurous and highly successful career was made special by hits like “Live Like You Were Dying,” “If You’re Reading This,” and “Humble and Kind.”
9. George Strait
George Strait has the highest number of chart-topping hits in country music history.
His massive contribution to country music throughout three decades of dedicated service makes him one of the greatest country stars.
George was already a popular figure at the turn of the 90s.
But he wasn’t going to give up because of the pop-rock influences throughout this decade.
Instead, he continued to shine in a highly evolving country music scene.
Indeed, nobody personifies the country music genre quite like George Strait.
If you doubt that, listen to his passionate crooning in his “Check Yes Or No” masterpiece.
10. Toby Keith
Toby Keith’s legacy lives on in his “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” hit.
Let’s just say this song made Toby the great country star he is today.
While Toby only enjoyed moderate success in the 90s, this was also his breakout period, pushing to new heights towards the end of the decade.
His 1999 “How Do You Like Me Now?” hit was career-defining, laying the foundation for the success he enjoyed in the later years.
11. Trisha Yearwood
Only a few country singers can boast of topping the Billboard Country Singles chart with their debut singles.
But such was Trisha Yearwood’s story, whose 1991 debut song, “She’s In Love With the Boy,” was an instant chart-topper.
The corresponding studio album, Trisha Yearwood, became a hit, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide.
Yearwood released a series of hits in the 90s, including “Walkaway Joe,” “The Song Remembers When,” and “Believe Me Baby (I Lied).”
12. Faith Hill
Faith Hill is right at the top with the greatest female country stars of the 1990s.
She began her career as a lesser-known country music lover.
But her popularity increased over the years.
And towards the end of the 90s, she’d become a household name in the country music world.
Her marriage to another country music great, Tim McGraw, spiced up their romantic and professional life.
Faith’s best-known works include the Faith and Breathe studio albums, released in 1998 and 1999, respectively.
13. The Chicks
The Chicks, or Dixie Chicks, was one of the best country music bands in the 90s, formed in Dallas, Texas.
It comprised Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer.
The Chicks broke into the country music scene in 1997 after accepting a contract from Monument Records Nashville.
Their Wide Open and Fly studio albums marked a turning point in their career, transforming them into one of the finest country bands at the time.
14. Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992 was the beginning of an illustrious music career.
The mullet-sporting country star is one of the best singers to come out of Nashville.
And his celebrated music career proves it all.
His recent appearance in Lil Nas’ Grammy-winning “Old Town Road” proves Cyrus’ legacy is bigger than the 90s nostalgia.
15. Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney’s amazing legacy makes it impossible to rate his best songs in any particular order.
The Tennessee-born musician, guitarist, and songwriter began his career in Nashville and has since become one of the most celebrated country singers in history.
Since releasing his 1994 debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, Chesney has produced 20 more throughout an admirable career that has earned him plaudits from fans and foes alike.
16. Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley became a celebrated country music performer in the 90s because of his skillful narrations and sense of humor.
Paisley attributes his success to his grandfather, who introduced him to the country music genre at only eight years.
At 12, Brad was already performing at live events.
After launching his songwriting career in Nashville, the country singer released his debut studio album (Who Needs Pictures) in 1999.
And the rest is history.
His passionate tribute to stepdads, “He Didn’t Have to Be,” caught everyone’s attention.
17. Trace Adkins
After debuting with his 1996 album Dreamin’ Out Loud, the sky was the limit for Trace Adkins.
He’s the country singer behind one of the most controversial and emotional war songs.
Then, there’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” one of the most popular line dance songs.
Adkin’s music career spans three decades, with more than 10 studio albums.
18. Vince Gill
We have to admit it.
Vince Gill comes to mind when people talk about the best-written country songs that grabbed everyone’s attention.
He was a man who knew his craft.
And his legendary career spans over three decades of excellent country songs.
His work defined the 90s country music.
19. Clint Black
Clint Black was one of the few trendsetters in the 1990s.
His 1989 Killin’ Time album welcomed a new style in the fast-evolving country music industry.
He released three more albums in the decade: The Hard Way, One Emotion, and Put Yourself in my Shoes.
Today, he’s held in the same regard as other country stars with storied careers like Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson.
20. Dolly Parton
Her blonde hair.
Her gravity-defying shape.
Her epic songs.
Dolly Parton wasn’t just a beautiful country singer.
She was a legend, an icon, and a role model.
Parton’s songs are some of the best in country music history.
21. LeAnn Rimes
Some artists wait for their career breakthroughs for decades.
But LeAnn Rime’s story is one many country singers can only dream of.
At only 13, the Mississippi-born American singer broke into the country music scene thanks to her 1996 single, “Blue.”
She has since released over 50 singles, with 40 making it to popular international charts.
22. John Michael Montgomery
John Montgomery is famed for the brotherly country duo, Montgomery Gentry.
John’s father was instrumental in shaping the singer’s career.
Montgomery’s debut album, Life’s a Dance, put him on the country music map.
The 90s was a successful period in his career.
His signature song, “I Love the Way You Love Me,” still gets every country music lover’s attention.
23. Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless is a recognizable voice in country music.
She influenced a new generation of country singers.
Patty Loveless was already performing in 1985 after signing a contract with MC Records.
However, she reached new heights in the 90s after switching to Epic Records.
At the new record label, Patty released 9 albums, 4 of which became certified platinum in the US.
Her best singles include “I Try to Think About Elvis,” “Blame It On Your Heart,” and “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.”
24. Wade Hayes
Wade Hayes drew inspiration from his country-loving father and released his first album in 1994
His signature track, “Old Enough to Know Better,” garnered enough praise.
His second album, On a Good Night, was the icing on the cake, making him even more popular amongst those who didn’t know him.
25. Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker has navigated the country music world for decades, with songs spanning multiple decades.
She broke onto the scene in 1974 at only 13.
And she’s never looked back ever since.
In the decades following, she refined her skills, becoming that pleasantly-sounding country singer everybody wants to listen to.
26. Pam Tillis
Singer, songwriter, and actress Pam Tillis became one of the most popular country stars in the 20th century thanks to her great albums.
Many people remember her as Mel Tillis’ daughter, the great American country singer.
Pam identified her passion for music at a young age, performing at the local church, bands, and talent shows.
She had a series of false starts in pop music before launching her country career in 1984.
27. Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn is a revered country music duo from Nashville, Tennessee.
They started their musical journey in 1990 after signing with Artista Nashville and were largely influential throughout the decade.
Famed for their honky-tonk influences and animated live performances, the 90s country music would never be the same without the iconic music duo.
28. Diamond Rio
Grizzly River Boys, commonly known as Diamond Rio, are one of the greatest musical bands that revolutionized 90s country music.
They made history with the 1991 hit “Meet in the Middle,” which went straight to the top of the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
And once they occupied the coveted #1 spot, they had written their name in country music history.
Later, they released 36 more singles, including 4 chart toppers.
29. Sawyer Brown
Not many country-pop bands can boast of staying in the game for 4 decades.
But Sawyer Brown do, since debuting in 1981.
They are one of the best country music bands from the 90s, known for hit singles like “Step That Step,” and “Thank God For You.”
While their popularity dwindled towards the end of the decade, their hits and loyal fan base are a testimony to their success in a fast-evolving country music world.
30. Wynonna Judd
Wynonna Judd became famous in the 1980s as part of the mother-daughter music duo, The Judds.
Wynonna launched a solo career in 1991 when the musical duo disbanded, becoming a recognized singer in country music.
Her first 3 hits from her self-titled album reached #1 on the US country singles chart.
And that was the beginning of a legendary career, complemented by multiple accolades, chart-topping hits, and solo albums.
The crowning moment was in 2022 when Wynonna got inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
Best 90s Country Artists & Singers – Final Thoughts
The 90s was arguably the greatest decade for country music.
And these 30 artists did enough to cement their names in the hearts of many country lovers.
Whether you want to reminisce about your old days or assess the pop-rock influences on country music, bet on these country singers to take you through the raw emotions of pure nostalgia.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best 90s country singers and found new artists to add to your favorites.