15+ Top Black Country Singers of 2021 (Ultimate List)

Each passing year brings forth a fresh wave of vocalists, each leaving an indelible imprint on their respective musical realms. Among these emerging talents are those whose novelty holds the promise of burgeoning careers, while others are seasoned virtuosos, their presence in the industry spanning years.

The chronicle of 2021 conforms to this perennial pattern. The year bore witness to the entrée of a multitude of new Black country crooners who have rapidly surged into prominence within the music sphere. Simultaneously, it marked the resurgence of familiar countenances, still weaving melodies that resonate.

While a profusion of Black country artists graces the scene, a compendium of over 15 remarkable talents of 2021 has been meticulously curated. This compilation encompasses a spectrum ranging from well-established icons to nascent prodigies, encapsulating the entire spectrum of the genre’s evolution.

Black Country Singers

Black country singers constitute a cohort of musicians whose substantial contributions have indelibly shaped the contours of the country music domain. Despite often being relegated to the shadows or inadequately represented within the industry, these artists have played an instrumental role in molding and delineating the very essence of country music. Their distinctive viewpoints and life experiences have imbued the genre with novel dimensions.

The lineage of black country singers traces its roots to the nascent stages of country music when many rural communities boasted racial diversity and a shared ardor for the genre. However, as country music attained greater mainstream prominence in the 20th century, black artists encountered formidable barriers to entry. A plethora of hurdles inhibited their acknowledgment and access to industry resources.

In the face of these adversities, black country singers demonstrated tenacity and resilience, engendering a multifaceted and vibrant repertoire that spans the gamut from traditional country ballads to ingenious amalgamations of country, soul, and sundry other genres. Through their artistry, these musicians have bestowed a distinctive vantage point upon the genre, delving into themes of identity, race, and culture within their musical narratives. In doing so, they’ve defied stereotypes and challenged preconceptions surrounding the essence of a country artist.

1. Kane Brown

Kane Brown, a youthful and talented American country vocalist, and songwriter, has ascended to stardom in recent years by weaving a distinctive tapestry of traditional country cadences interwoven with contemporary pop and R&B influences. Born in 1993 in Georgia, Brown’s artistic journey commenced during his adolescence when he took to the stage, disseminating videos of his performances through online platforms and cultivating a dedicated following courtesy of the burgeoning realm of social media.

Having garnered momentum within his burgeoning online community, Brown unveiled his inaugural EP, “Closer,” in 2015. The EP’s triumph catalyzed a record deal with RCA Nashville, propelling him towards the release of his first full-fledged album, “Kane Brown,” in 2016. This musical endeavor resonated robustly with audiences, yielding chart-topping tracks such as “What Ifs” and “Heaven,” and fostering a steadfast legion of admirers.

Beyond his musical prowess, Brown’s distinctive visage punctuated by tattoos and his trademark fedora has become emblematic of his image. He has also demonstrated a candid inclination to discuss his encounters with issues of race and identity, being a biracial artist navigating a largely homogeneous industry.

Armed with his idiosyncratic melodies, unfiltered lyrics, and engaging presence on stage, Kane Brown has evolved into one of contemporary country music’s most electrifying fledgling luminaries. His artistry persistently transcends conventional boundaries and dispels established preconceptions within the genre, standing as a testament to his resolute commitment to charting new artistic territories.

2. DeFord Bailey

DeFord Bailey, a luminary in American country music and blues, achieved prominence during the vibrant era of the 1920s. His virtuosity spanned multiple instruments, yet it’s the harmonica that immortalized him as a “harmonica wizard.”

In the annals of live radio performers, Bailey is a cherished figure of the inaugural generation. The 1930s witnessed him embarking on tours alongside a roster of renowned country artists, etching his name into the echelons of musical history. Regrettably, a royalties dispute between Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) and the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) led to his untimely departure from the limelight, as he relinquished the mantle of an entertainer.

Nevertheless, the 1970s saw his triumphant return to the public gaze. This resurgence culminated in his posthumous induction into the esteemed Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Eclipsing temporal boundaries, the Encyclopedia of Country Music lauds Bailey as “the most significant black country star before World War II,” commemorating his exceptional legacy and groundbreaking contributions.

3. Brittney Spencer

Emerging from Baltimore, Maryland, Brittney Spencer is a burgeoning force in American country music, distinguished for her resonant voice and songwriting prowess. Blending the hues of traditional country melodies with the contemporary shades of R&B influences, Spencer occupies a distinctive niche within the country music panorama.

The seeds of Spencer’s musical journey were sown in her formative years, taking root in the confines of her church choir. These nascent melodies flourished as she pursued her education in music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. It was here that her vocal prowess and songwriting acumen evolved, capturing attention with a commanding blend of power and soul.

An auteur of storytelling, Spencer wields her music as a narrative medium, weaving personal experiences and the tales of those around her into her compositions. Her repertoire delves into themes as varied as heartache, self-identity, and social justice. Notably, her music forges an intimate connection with her audience, delving into deep emotional reservoirs.

Already basking in the acclaim of critics, Spencer’s star is on the ascent. Renowned publications such as Rolling Stone and NPR have heralded her as one of country music’s promising luminaries. With her resonant sound and potent vocal prowess, Brittney Spencer is poised to metamorphose into one of the genre’s most captivating voices, signaling an exciting chapter in the realm of country music.

4. The War And Treaty

The inception of The War and Treaty dates back to 2014, a year that also saw the release of their single ‘Hi Ho.’ Reverberating through the musical landscape, this track was hailed by Chris Estey of Paste magazine as their “breakout hit.” The year further unfolded with the unveiling of the EP ‘Down to the River’ in 2017. A harmonic fusion of blues, gospel, soul, and country, this creation was celebrated as a “splendidly made immediate classic about conflict and redemption.”

The trajectory of The War and Treaty continued with the release of their sophomore studio album, ‘Hearts Town,’ which reached a zenith by peaking at the seventieth spot on the Billboard country chart. Their voyage culminated in a pivotal juncture in 2022 when they inked a substantial record deal with the esteemed Universal Music Group.

A luminous moment illuminated the year’s end, when they shared the stage with Brothers Osborne at the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards, delivering a captivating rendition of ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It).’ This intersection of musical talents stood as a testament to their evolving journey and their compelling ability to traverse diverse sonic realms.

5. Milton Patton

Milton Patton, an accomplished American vocalist, vaulted onto the national stage through his captivating stint on the renowned television spectacle “America’s Got Talent.” Hailing originally from Augusta, Georgia, Patton has cultivated a lifelong devotion to both performing and composing music, drawing creative nourishment from a diverse array of genres encompassing gospel, blues, and R&B.

Within the captivating realm of “America’s Got Talent,” Patton conjured amazement among both the panel of judges and the mesmerized audience. His commanding vocals and emotionally charged renditions garnered commendation, propelling him into the later phases of the competition. Patton’s musical tapestry, ingeniously weaving together the strands of classic soul and contemporary pop, resonated profoundly with listeners, cementing his status as a burgeoning luminary in the musical constellation.

Supplementing his television journey, Patton has unfurled a series of singles and an EP, each a testament to his soulful vocal prowess and songwriting finesse. His lyrical profundity and dynamic stage presence coalesce to fashion a magnetic bond with audiences across the nation. Undeniably endowed with talent and an infectious aura, Milton Patton stands poised to ascend as one of the most exhilarating and promising voices within the contemporary music panorama.

6. Breland

Daniel Gerard Breland, widely recognized by his stage name Breland, stands as a prominent figure in American music, celebrated for his prowess as a singer, songwriter, and record producer. He notably shines as one of the most prominent Black country artists in contemporary times, carving a niche within the country rap genre.

In 2019, Breland catapulted into the limelight with his debut single ‘My Truck,’ a track that resonated widely thanks to the burgeoning influence of social media. The song’s popularity propelled it to the twenty-sixth spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. A pivotal remix featuring Sam Hunt further propelled the track’s ascent, ultimately achieving certified platinum status with over a million copies sold.

The ensuing year marked another milestone as Breland assumed the role of host for his own radio show, titled “Land of the Bre,” on Apple Music Country. This venture demonstrated his multidimensional engagement within the musical landscape.

Culminating his journey, Breland’s debut album, “Cross Country,” emerged two years later, attaining a commendable fifteenth position on the esteemed Billboard country chart. This accomplishment underscored his enduring impact on the genre. Breland’s trajectory through music paints a portrait of an artist who deftly navigates the intricacies of country and rap, resonating with audiences far and wide.

7. Carl Ray

Carl Ray, a luminary in American country music, is celebrated for his distinctive fusion of traditional country melodies with the soulful cadences of blues, R&B, and gospel. Native to Oklahoma, his formative years cultivated an unwavering passion for country music, instilled from a tender age. Nurtured by the resonant tunes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Johnny Cash, these influences permeate his musical expression.

The dawn of the 2000s witnessed Ray’s ascension as he graced stages across the United States, igniting a trajectory that would be defined by his unique style and commanding vocal prowess. This distinctive combination swiftly garnered the admiration of both fans and industry connoisseurs, translating into a series of albums and singles that garnered resounding critical acclaim.

As a black artist within the country realm, Ray has confronted the hurdles of prejudice and challenges, forging his path amidst the industry’s diverse landscape. Undeterred, he remains unwaveringly committed to the musical genre he holds dear. Ray’s pioneering journey extends beyond his own artistry, casting him as a beacon for fellow black country musicians, and inspiring a fresh wave of talents to pursue their aspirations within the genre.

Blessed with a potent vocal instrument, authentic storytelling, and an undeniable magnetism, Carl Ray has solidified his position as one of contemporary country music’s most exhilarating and innovative performers, an embodiment of the genre’s evolving dynamism.

8. Yola

Yola’s journey to the forefront of music commenced within the folds of the English band Phantom Limb, where she thrived under the name Yolanda Quartey. From 2005 to 2012, she lent her remarkable talents to the group, making an indelible mark. Embarking on her solo path, she unveiled her inaugural solo EP, “Orphan Offering,” in 2016, setting the stage for her ascent as one of today’s triumphant female Black country artists.

The turning point arrived three years later with the release of her debut studio album, “Walk Through Fire.” This masterpiece garnered widespread acclaim and earned her the honor of four Grammy Award nominations, including the coveted Best New Artist category. The album’s resounding success underscored her burgeoning prominence on the musical landscape.

The year 2021 bore witness to the unveiling of Yola’s sophomore LP, “Stand for Me,” which soared to the sixth rank on the Billboard Country Folk charts. Lauded for its genre-transcending essence, the album ingeniously interwove elements of soul, disco, R&B, and even rock, solidifying Yola’s status as a pioneer in genre-fluid musical explorations. Her artistry serves as a testament to the boundless creative possibilities that arise when embracing diverse influences.

9. Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen, an accomplished American country singer, and songwriter, hails from Delaware and was nurtured by the landscapes of both Delaware and Pennsylvania. His prominence surged with the release of his debut single “Best Shot,” an anthem that soared to the zenith of country radio charts, amplifying the resonance of his soulful and commanding vocal presence.

Intrinsically weaving the tapestry of his music, Allen deftly merges the timbres of traditional country melodies with the hues of R&B and pop influences. His lyrical narratives often traverse themes of love, hope, and resolute determination. Distinctive for his infectious optimism and uplifting messages, Allen has magnetized fans across generational lines.

Allen’s journey, though marked by initial setbacks, showcases his unwavering resolve. His persistence and focused dedication paved the way for the meteoric rise of “Best Shot,” a trailblazing achievement that established him as the first black artist to attain a debut single reaching the summit of the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

Continuing on his trajectory, Allen has consistently released singles that have ascended the charts. His live performances are hailed for their dynamic energy and captivating engagement with the audience. Beyond his musical accomplishments, he has embraced a pivotal role as an advocate for diversity and inclusivity within the country music realm, leveraging his platform to advocate for greater representation and opportunities for artists of color.

10. Aaron Neville

Aaron Neville, a luminous figure in American music, is celebrated for his multifaceted talents spanning the realms of R&B, country, and soul. His legacy is notably crowned by the resounding success of his 1966 single ‘Tell It Like It Is.’ This track garnered unprecedented triumph, reigning atop the Soul chart for an impressive five weeks, ascending to the apex of Billboard’s R&B chart, and narrowly trailing only behind the Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ as it reached number two on the Hot 100 chart.

The enduring allure of ‘Tell It Like It Is’ manifested in its commercial prowess, amassing over a million copies sold and being adorned with a coveted gold disc. Neville’s artistic journey further manifested in the form of four platinum albums and an impressive tally of four Top Ten hits in the United States. Among these, three triumphantly ascended to the zenith of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart, cementing his status as a versatile chart-topper.

Neville’s legacy took an interesting turn when, at the ripe age of eighty, he announced his retirement from touring. Despite this step back from the live stage, he remains open to the possibility of recording albums or lending his captivating performances to special events. As an artist who has navigated the ebbs and flows of the music industry, Aaron Neville’s legacy endures as a testament to his lasting impact and enduring love for the craft.

11. Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker, a luminary in the realm of American music, boasts a multifaceted identity as a singer, songwriter, and musician. His ascent to prominence was marked by his role as the frontman for the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish during the 1990s. Following a hiatus from the band in 2008, Rucker embarked upon a remarkable solo journey within the country music sphere, securing a distinctive position as one of the select black artists to achieve significant triumphs within the genre.

Rucker’s musical tapestry is a rich fusion of rock, pop, and country influences, a distinctive amalgamation that carves out a unique sonic niche. His voice, characterized by its soulful resonance, coupled with his emotionally charged lyrics, has resonated deeply with audiences worldwide. This resonance has translated into a plethora of awards and accolades that have adorned his career.

Beyond his musical footprint, Rucker has metamorphosed into a formidable force as a philanthropist and community influencer. Leveraging his platform, he has championed a diverse array of causes, ranging from education to healthcare and the arts. Moreover, he has emerged as a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusivity within the music industry, using his own experiences as a black artist to spotlight the obstacles faced by individuals of color within the business.

With an unwavering commitment to his craft, infectious energy, and a powerful voice, Darius Rucker has transcended musical boundaries to ascend as an icon of contemporary country music, a multifaceted artist whose influence extends far beyond the realm of melodies and lyrics.

12. Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X has infused a captivating twist into the country rap genre, bringing a fresh and invigorating perspective. As an American rapper and singer-songwriter, he vaulted into the limelight with the release of his distinctive country rap single, ‘Old Town Road.’ This track, a fusion of country and rap elements, rapidly spiraled into a viral sensation, conquering international charts and attaining the esteemed diamond certification. With ten million streams and sales, the song etched its mark as a cultural phenomenon, reigning atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for an astounding nineteen weeks.

The year 2021 bore witness to the unveiling of his debut album, “Montero,” a landmark achievement that garnered substantial recognition and even secured a coveted nomination for an Album of the Year Grammy Award. Lil Nas X’s trailblazing impact extended beyond his musical achievements; he etched his name as the first openly LGBT Black artist to seize a Country Music Association award. In 2019, his virtual presence and influence led Time Magazine to induct him into the list of the twenty-five most influential people on the Internet, an accolade further underlined by his inclusion in the esteemed Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020.

Lil Nas X’s meteoric ascent is emblematic of his artistry’s resonant impact on contemporary culture, shaping genre boundaries and challenging norms. His journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of music, transcending borders and resonating deeply with audiences across diverse landscapes.

13. Charley Pride

Charley Pride stands as a trailblazing figure in American country music celebrated for his resonant voice, profound songwriting, and his role in transcending racial divides within the industry. Born in 1934 in Mississippi, Pride’s affinity for country music took root during his formative years, as he immersed himself in the melodies transmitted through the airwaves. This early passion led him to become an adept singer and guitarist.

Following his service in the U.S. Army, Pride embarked on a journey to Nashville in the 1960s, driven by a fervent desire to carve a niche in the realm of music. His path was marked by formidable challenges, as he confronted the discrimination ingrained within a predominantly white country genre. Yet, undeterred, he defied the odds and charted his course to success, producing hit singles like “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” and “Mountain of Love.”

Pride’s legacy is characterized by his unwavering commitment to shattering barriers within country music. He etched his name in history as the first black artist to grace the stage of the revered Grand Ole Opry, amassing a treasure trove of awards and accolades that celebrated his invaluable contributions to the genre. In 2000, he achieved the pinnacle of recognition with his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

His passing in 2020 marked the end of an era, yet his musical heritage lives on, inspiring generations of artists and listeners alike. Charley Pride’s indelible mark on country music history stands as a testament to his tenacity, resilience, and ability to transcend boundaries, uniting audiences through the power of his music.

14. Blanco Brown

Blanco Brown, an esteemed figure in American country music, shines as a versatile singer, songwriter, and record producer. His roots trace back to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was immersed in a tapestry of musical genres ranging from country and hip-hop to R&B. This rich mosaic of influences culminates in his signature sound, aptly coined “trailertrap,” a harmonious fusion of diverse musical realms.

The pinnacle of Brown’s acclaim arrived with his breakout hit, “The Git Up,” a sensation that reverberated virally in 2019. It’s captivating lyrics and infectious dance moves ignited a social media frenzy, triggering a challenge that swiftly attained viral status. This success propelled the song to the zenith of charts, illuminating Brown’s artistry to a broader audience.

Brown’s creative wellspring often draws from his own life’s tapestry, interweaving his upbringing in Atlanta and his experiences within the military. His music resonates with a message of positivity, underscored by uplifting lyrics that traverse themes of resilience, love, and personal evolution.

Beyond his musical output, Brown stands as a dynamic force in production and songwriting, collaborating with an array of artists spanning the country and hip-hop landscapes. His emergence as a luminary in contemporary country music is underlined by his ability to inspire and establish connections, fostering an enduring impact that reverberates across global audiences.

15. Lesley Riddle

Lesley Riddle, a significant figure within The Carter Family Country band, left an indelible imprint on the shaping of country music. Through his contributions, he lent his voice to a myriad of chart-topping tunes, including the likes of ‘Hello Stranger,’ ‘Let the Church Roll On,’ and ‘Lonesome For You.’

However, Riddle’s influence wasn’t confined to his vocal talents alone; his guitar artistry reverberated across the musical landscape, leaving an indelible mark on numerous artists who were captivated by his playing style. This impact continues to be discernible in their own musical expressions.

Recent years have witnessed the spotlight turning to Riddle’s life and era. A stage production, vividly chronicling his journey, was brought to life, serving as a testament to his enduring significance. Building upon this foundation, Playwright Jeff Douglas Messer is fervently crafting a novel and screenplay, ensuring that Riddle’s legacy finds its place within the narratives of literature and cinema. The story of Lesley Riddle transcends time, echoing through both the songs he shared and the creative endeavors he continues to inspire.

16. Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton, a luminary in American country music, stands distinguished for her resonant vocals and heartfelt songwriting. Hailing from Arlington, Texas, she uncovered her passion for music during her formative years, finding her voice in church and school choirs. This love propelled her to Nashville, where she embarked on a journey to carve a niche in the musical realm, swiftly establishing herself as a remarkable songwriter and performer.

Guyton’s musical canvas is a reflection of her personal experiences, rooted in her identity as a black woman within the predominantly white expanse of country music. Her voice reverberates as an advocate for enhanced diversity and representation within the industry, utilizing her platform to amplify awareness of issues like racism and police brutality.

A watershed moment in Guyton’s trajectory arrived with the release of her single “Better Than You Left Me” in 2015, a track that garnered both critical acclaim and chart triumph. This breakthrough paved the way for a series of other singles, including the potent “Black Like Me.” An anthem of racial pride and identity, the song resonated profoundly, transcending musical boundaries to generate widespread attention and acclaim.

Mickey Guyton’s ascent is emblematic of her unwavering commitment to melding her powerful voice and intimate lyrics with a resolute dedication to social justice and equality. Her trajectory illuminates a path of transformation, cementing her role as a burgeoning star in the realm of country music while simultaneously assuming a crucial mantle of change and progress within the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are some of the best Black country singers in 2021?

Some notable Black country singers in 2021 include Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen, Charley Crockett, Brittney Spencer, Mickey Guyton, and Yola, among others.

Has there been an increase in diversity among country singers in recent years?

Yes, there has been a growing recognition and appreciation for diversity in country music, with more Black artists gaining prominence and breaking barriers in the genre.

What impact have Black country singers had on the genre?

Black country singers have enriched the genre by infusing their unique perspectives and musical styles, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive country music landscape.

Are there any Black country singers who have achieved chart-topping success?

Yes, artists like Kane Brown and Jimmie Allen have achieved significant chart success with their singles reaching the top of country music charts.

What challenges have Black country singers faced in the industry?

Historically, Black country singers have faced challenges related to racial bias and stereotypes in the industry. However, many have persevered and broken down barriers.

Have Black country singers received recognition and awards for their work?

Yes, several Black country singers have received awards and nominations for their contributions to country music, including Grammy nominations and other industry accolades.

How have Black country singers incorporated their cultural influences into their music?

Black country singers often blend their cultural influences, such as R&B, gospel, and soul, into their music, creating a unique fusion that resonates with diverse audiences.

Are there any Black country singers who have made history in the genre?

Yes, artists like Mickey Guyton have made history by becoming the first Black woman to perform at certain country music events and by advocating for greater diversity.

Are there upcoming Black Country singers to watch out for in the future?

Emerging artists like Brittney Spencer and Charley Crockett are gaining attention for their unique musical styles and promising careers in country music.

How have Black country singers contributed to breaking down stereotypes in the genre?

Black country singers challenge stereotypes by showcasing the breadth of talent within the genre and proving that country music is inclusive of diverse voices and experiences.


The landscape of country music has been evolving with the emergence of remarkable Black country singers in 2021. This year marked a significant step towards greater diversity and inclusivity within the genre. Artists like Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen, Brittney Spencer, and Mickey Guyton have not only brought their exceptional talents to the forefront but have also challenged long-standing norms and biases.

Their music, deeply rooted in their unique experiences and cultural influences, has enriched the country music tapestry with fresh sounds that blend elements of R&B, soul, and gospel. These artists have shattered stereotypes, proving that country music transcends racial boundaries and resonates with audiences of all backgrounds.

Their achievements, including chart-topping singles, Grammy nominations, and historical milestones, showcase the industry’s growing recognition of their contributions. Moreover, they have utilized their platforms to advocate for greater representation and equality, fostering a more inclusive environment for future generations of Black country artists.

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