Some of the top male country singers include Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. All three artists rank among the most celebrated and influential in country music.
Johnny Cash’s unique mix of country, gospel, rock and blues made him one of the top country stars of the 20th century. Born in Arkansas, Cash eventually settled in Memphis, where he put together a band. Scoring an impromptu audition for the head of Sun Records, Cash went on to pen a string of hits during the 1950s and 1960s. Though he grappled with drug and marital problems throughout his life, Cash’s sound influenced a generation of musicians, including Bob Dylan.
Though he was only 29 when he died, Hank Williams's brief but successful career made him one of the most enduring and influential figures in country music. Learning to play guitar as a child, Willaims became one of country’s biggest stars by his early 20s. His biggest hits are some of the best known songs in country music, including “Hey Good Lookin’,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Merle Haggard’s songwriting drew on country, folk, jazz and blues, making him one of the most distinct voices in country. One of the most successful artists of the 1960s, Haggard’s rough, world weary music personified the working class spirit of country.