black country singers
Entertainment & Playlists

30 Best Black Country Singers of All Time

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Written By Will Fenton
Entertainment & Playlists

30 Best Black Country Singers of All Time

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Many black country singers have contributed to the growth and popularity of country music.

Some took up country music after experimenting with other genres.

Others were country singers through and through.

This article includes a list of some of the best black country singers of all time and their influence over the years.

1. Charley Pride

Charley Pride is a pioneer in country music who taught himself to play the guitar at just 14 years old.

His third country single, “Just Between You and Me,” was his break-out song.

The singer was a four-time Grammy winner, including awards for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, and Lifetime Achievement awards.

2. Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker was a co-founder, lead vocalist, and songwriter for the famous soft rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.

His single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” from the album Learn to Live, was an instant hit.

It was the first song by a Black artist to hit no.1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart since Charley Pride.

3. Tina Turner

No list of black country singers would be complete without Tina Turner.

Her first solo album, Tina Turns The Country On!, covered all her favorite country music and got nominated for a Grammy.

She has more than 160 awards and over 180 nominations.

4. Petrella Ann Bonner

Petrella Ann Bonner is a singer, songwriter, actress, and music producer.

She’s had countless songs featured on the Top 100 Country Singles charts and calls herself  “The first lady of country soul.”

She was named “Songwriter of the Year” by the Tennessee Songwriters Association in 1994.

5. Carl Ray

Born and raised in Houston with a love for music and songwriting, Carl Ray was discovered by Johnny Nash.

Carl’s single “I Stand with this Country” won first place in Cash Box 2021.

Read more:  45 Songs About Loving Yourself for Who You Are

His songs are mostly about religion and faith, with hints of sorrow and hope.

6. Kane Brown

Kane Brown is a black American singer and songwriter who was discovered on social media.

In 2017, he was the first artist to have his songs on all five billboard country charts.

He won American Music Awards for Favorite Country Male Artist and Favorite Country Album for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

7. Cowboy Troy

Troy Lee Coleman III, better known as Cowboy Troy, is a member of MuzikMafia, a group of various country singers.

The singer was the first singer to combine hip-hop and country music.

He’s released seven albums, two EPs, and eight singles.

8. Trini Triggs

Trini Triggs became popular among country music fans after he released his self-titled album in the late 90s.

Some of his best songs include “The Wreckin’ Crew” and “Straight Tequila.”

His fun singing style and excellent vocals make him one of the best black country singers of all time.

9. Milton Patton

Milton Patton became a fan of country music after hearing it play at his father’s car detailing business.

The singer became famous through the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent.”

His love for pure country music was why he rejected a $500,000 record deal; they wanted him to focus on R&B hip-hop kind of country music.

10. Cleve Francis

Cleve Francis has one of the most interesting stories regarding his career.

The singer juggled his dream of becoming a country singer while also studying for his medical degree.

Now a cardiologist, he balances both his professions in an inspiring way and has even charted four times on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

11. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin is known as the “Queen of Soul,” and could turn any song into a hymn.

She released interpretations of many country songs like “Gentle On My Mind,” “Night Life,” and “Cold Cold Heart,” adding to their fame.

Some of her renditions of popular country songs are more popular than the original songs.

12. Lesley Riddle

Lesley Riddle isn’t a popular name for country music, but one you can’t miss if you’re a true country music fan.

The singer took up country music after he lost a leg to a workplace injury.

His influence on the Carter Family played a huge role in shaping country music.

13. Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X is mainly known for his rap and hip-hop music.

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However, the singer took the internet by storm with his instant hit, a country rap called “Old Town Road.”

The song and its second version, sung with Billy Ray Cyrus, won 15 music awards and topped numerous charts worldwide.

14. Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton is a famous singer whose music ranges from country-pop to contemporary country.

Her country song, “Better Than You Left Me,” got her a Grammy nomination and a nomination from the Academy of Music Awards as well.

The song was about her experience as a black woman in the country music industry. 

15. Jimmie Allen

He was the second black artist to win a Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year since Darius Rucker.

His first single, “Best Shot,” was an instant hit and ranked no.1 on the US Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Canadian Hot 100 charts.

16. DeFord Bailey

DeFord Bailey is one of the most important names in country music and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

He was the first black country singer to be invited to the Grand Ole Opry, that too as the first performer.

He was skilled at playing the harmonica and banjo.

17. Coffey Anderson

Coffey Anderson’s music journey started by learning and playing a borrowed guitar in his university dorm.

The singer is on social media, famous with 790,000,000 views on Youtube and Facebook combined.

Predominantly a country singer, he also writes gospel music.

18. Aaron Neville

Aaron Neville is a black R&B and soul singer who also experimented with country music.

His cover of “The Grand Tour” peaked on the Billboard country singles chart at no. 38.

His recorded version of “I Fall to Pieces” won him a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

19. Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens was the lead vocalist, banjo, and fiddle player for the band “The Carolina Chocolate Drops.”

She’s famous for her heart-touching songs about slavery and won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2011.

20. Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons is famous for his neotraditional country music.

He’s popular for trying to revive traditional country music instruments like bones.

His album, Black Cowboys (2018), got a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album and a  Blues Music Award nomination for Best Acoustic Album.

21. Brittney Spencer

Brittney Spencer became famous after she went viral on Twitter for covering a song by The Highwomen.

She’s performed at the Country Music Association Awards and has been nominated for the CMT Digital First Performance of the Year award.

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22. Chapel Hart

Chapel Hart is a country music group that comprises three vocalists, sisters Danica Hart, Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle.

They rose to fame after finishing fifth in the seventeenth season of America’s Got Talent.

CMT chose Chapel Hart as a part of their 2021 “Next Women of Country” campaign about new upcoming female country singers.

23. Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Carolina Chocolate Drops were an old-time string band.

Their music consisted of country, blues, early jazz, spoken word pieces, and African and Caribbean songs.

Their album, Genuine Negro Jig, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

24. Dobie Gray

Dobie Gray’s musical career consisted of pop, soul, theatre musicals, and country songs.

His biggest hit, “Drift Away,” peaked at no.17 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1973.

It was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA and sold over 1 million copies.

25. Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie is a well-known name in the music world for being the co-lead singer of the group, Commodores.

In 1980 he produced and wrote Kenny Roger’s big country hit, “Lady.”

In his album Tuskegee, Richie sang reinterpretations of his previous songs with different country artists.

26. Miko Marks

Miko Marks is famous for her neo-traditional country songs.

In 2006, New Music Weekly Awards named her the Best New Country Artist.

She’s also won three Independent Music Awards, two for Country Song of the Year and one for Country Album of the Year.

27. The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters are popular for their diverse range of music, including country, pop, dance, soul, funk, rock, etc.

They have three Grammy awards and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

Their song, “Fairytale,” was their biggest country hit, winning a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

28. Vicki Vann

Vicki Vann is known as the Cinderella of country music.

She featured in “Waiting in the Wings,” a country music television documentary.

She expressed her struggles as a Black woman in the country music industry.

29. Rufus Payne

Rufus Payne, aka Tee-Tot, mainly sang country, blues, and gospel songs.

He was most popular for mentoring Hank Williams, a country music superstar.

Payne taught Williams how to improvise chords on a guitar.

30. Beyoncé

You can find traces of country music in Beyoncé’s career, starting from when she vocal harmonized “Fancy” by Destiny Child on the guitar.

Her country song, “Daddy Lessons,” faced immense opposition from critics for being called a country song.

However, the song can be counted as country diaspora, a genre that black country artists helped shape over the years.

Black Country Singers – Final Thoughts

Our list of best black country singers of all time covers singers from every decade. 

Many of these singers have faced racism and opposition for their role in country music.

However, their songs are addictive and a must-listen for every country music fan. 

You may also like: Best Black Male Singers of All Time

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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