Every year, countless new singers burst onto the scene in the country music genre. Coming from various ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities, each of them has their own unique spin on the industry. So in this article, we’re going to countdown what we believe are the best young male country singers working in music today.
Best Young Male Country Singers in Music
Let’s kick this off with Jackie Lee.
12) Jackie Lee (30 years old)
Lee grew up singing at his church from a young age, and caught the eye of music producer Carson Chamberlain, who brought him in to his studio to sing on a recording session at just six years old. Lee signed his first recording contract in Nashville at 19 years old. To this day, he only has a few songs to his name, but the ones he has released, have held their own well in the genre.
Probably his best-known hit is Getting Over You, or maybe even Headphones. Singing about heartbreak and having a hard time getting over a woman you loved is something a lot of people can relate to. Even Headphones reads as a story about a girl just living her life and having a good time. It’s a lighthearted and easygoing song, the kind of song I listen to when I’m sad to bring me up.
Lee has that charming Southern twang to his vocals like everyone else on this list, but it just makes his songs that much better (especially if it’s a song that’s simply just about having a good time). He’s been involved in music for almost his entire life, and his passion is clear. His music makes me happy, plain and simple.
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11) Mason Lively (24 years old)
Lively is the youngest artist on this list, but no less impactful than any of the others. A born and raised Texan, he’s truly a Southern boy through and through. He grew up listening to the greats of country music, like Willie Nelson and Ray Price. Mason Lively released his first album in 2018, but he had been writing songs since he was sixteen (he wrote his song Early Grave at that age) and has two albums and a handful of singles under his belt to date. He already has a fanbase a few thousand strong, with fifty thousand monthly listeners on Spotify.
I was mostly drawn to Lively because of the deepness of his voice. I have always been a sucker for singers with deep voices (especially in the country music genre, Chris Young and Josh Turner have always been some of my favorites), so I was immediately entranced with Lively’s vocal tone.
Though Something ‘Bout a Southern Girl is arguably the track that made him famous, Love Ain’t Done a Damn Thing was the song that broke my heart and really stuck Lively in my mind. I could go on for pages about his voice, but it truly just makes everything he sings that much better to me. With the impact he’s already made on fans and fellow artists alike during such a short time in the industry, it is likely he will continue to go far over the course of his career.
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10) Dylan Scott (31 years old)
This Louisiana native released his debut single in 2013, which charted on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for ten weeks. His best-selling hit, My Girl, was released in 2016, and has sold over a million copies to this day. Scott’s song Nobody (released in 2020) is Platinum-certified and earned him a 2021 CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. He has gone on tour with big names in the country music industry, including Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, and Chris Young.
Like many of his fans, Nobody is surely my favorite song by him, as it is an incredibly beautiful ode to his wife. His love for her rings clear through his heartfelt lyrics and the beautiful melody of the track. I could listen to it for hours, even if only because that’s how I want someone to feel about me one day. Scott has clearly worked hard to make it to where he is in his career, and has already been rewarded for it. Only time will tell how he will continue to make an impact in the industry as his career advances.
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9) Riley Green (33 years old)
Green’s status as a true Southern boy was cemented the minute he was born in Alabama. Interestingly, Green’s career got a kickstart when he was a contestant on the fourth season of Redneck Island, a television show that played on CMT (a country music-focused television channel). He released his first EP in 2013, but began actually releasing music in the late 2010s, but many critics have compared his music to the often-popular country hits of the ‘90s.
Green has two albums and a whole ton of singles to his name, and boy do a lot of his songs really pull at the heartstrings. I Wish Grandpa’s Never Died hit me a little too hard as someone who has a grandfather with ailing health. Hard to Leave is another notably painful track, but others like If It Wasn’t for Trucks are definitely more lighthearted, lively songs.
Regardless of whether you want a heartbreak song, or something that will get you pumped up for a fun night out, Green has it all. Though his rise to fame was a little strange compared to others, he rightfully earned his fame and surely will continue to grow in the years to come.
8) William Michael Morgan (29 years old)
Just like Mason Lively, Morgan drew me in with his notably deep vocal tone. The Mississippi native signed his first label deal at just nineteen years old, and quickly landed a number one hit with I Met a Girl. He has performed more than fifty times at the Grand Ole Opry and was even featured by the Country Music Hall of Fame as a highlighted artist in 2017. He’s made an incredible amount of achievements at such a young age, and has already made sure his name stays written in the history of country music.
I Met a Girl is definitely one of Morgan’s most loved tracks. I’m personally a big fan of songs like Brokenhearted, which have the feel of older, classic country music that you would hear commonly released in the golden years of country, the ‘90s. One of my favorite country singers (if not my number one favorite) is George Strait, and Morgan’s music reminds me so much of his that I couldn’t not like his work. It’s emotional, and gritty, and true country.
Of the artists on this list, he is one of the ones I have been listening to for the shortest amount of time, but it did not take long for my love for his music to develop. He is definitely a staple in my country music playlist, and will likely only continue to impress the world as the years go on.
7) Hunter Hayes (31 years old)
Hayes has been a recognizable name to me since I was a kid. I can specifically remember sitting in my living room listening to Wanted as an eleven year old (the song was released in 2012), and honestly I think it is part of the reason I am such a hopeless romantic to this day, ten years later. Another Louisiana native, Hayes released his debut album in 2011, which reached number one on the Top Country Albums, selling over one million copies. Wanted alone sold three and a half million copies and made Hayes the youngest male artist to ever top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
I have made my love for one particular track of Hayes’ obvious, but another one of his songs, I Want Crazy, is another notable one I remember listening to from my childhood. Even his newer tracks, like his latest release Missing You, still manage to make me feel nostalgic for long lost days of laying on the couch of my childhood home watching country music videos on the television. Hayes’ music truly just reminds me of simpler times.
Even his sadder songs make me happy because of the nostalgia factor. He has left a pretty significant impact on me personally, and I am sure his music has done the same for others, and that is why he landed on this list. I continue to be excited about the tracks he will release in the future.
6) Thomas Rhett (32 years old)
Rhett was born to known singer-songwriter Rhett Atkins in Georgia in 1990. After his parents’ divorce, he promised his mother he wouldn’t follow in his father’s footsteps, but realized music was his calling. He signed his first record deal at twenty one, but had been writing music for other well-known names (including Jason Aldean and Scotty McCreery) for years beforehand. He also wrote songs alongside his father, such as Star of the Show. Another one of his more famous songs, Die a Happy Man, was actually the track that got me interested in his music.
Tracks like Slow Down Summer remind me (like Hayes’ music) of being a kid, riding around on four-wheelers in the woods with my older siblings and then having a bonfire later at night, even though it was the middle of summer and still maybe eighty degrees outside despite it being dark. Memories like that are ones I treasure most from my younger years, and I feel particularly attached to songs that remind me of those times. Craving You (like Dylan Scott’s Nobody) just reminds me of how I want to be loved. It took me awhile to get into Thomas Rhett’s music, but I continue to be glad I did, if for nothing more than the effect his music has on me.
5) Hardy (32 years old)
Hardy is an interesting addition to this list for me. Another Mississippi native, his love of music was inspired by his father and he even wrote his first song in high school. He got a degree in songwriting, and his music career started during a trip to Nashville to visit his sister. Even before releasing his own music, Hardy was a songwriter for notable artists like Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, and even Morgan Wallen.
He also supported Morgan Wallen’s If I Know Me Tour, after only releasing one EP. Hardy released his first full album in 2020. He has been nominated for multiple awards, but has not won any, though he was named the Academy of Country Music’s 2022 Songwriter of the Year.
The song wait in the truck pretty much singlehandedly put Hardy on this list for me. It’s just so catchy, and energizing, and brings a spin to the country music industry that is exciting to me. I will admit I am not a huge fan of modern country music, as it tends to lean more toward a pop feel than authentic country, but the way that Hardy makes his music is a new and appealing vibe that I can really appreciate.
Rednecker and Give Heaven Some Hell areother good examples of songs he has released that I think bring an interesting new take to country music. Hardy has definitely made an impact on the industry, even in songs that he wrote but didn’t perform himself. He has an almost refreshing take on country music and I am looking forward to see what other songs he releases over the course of his career.
4) Luke Combs (32 years old)
Combs is one of a few artists on this list that I almost kind of refused to listen to for awhile, just because the hype around his music was so large that I was convinced I was going to be disappointed when I did finally listen to him. But of course, I was wrong. For some background, Combs was born and raised in North Carolina, and, fun fact, went to the same college that Eric Church went to.
He moved to Nashville in 2014 to pursue his music career, and released his first EP that same year. Thirteen of his singles reached number one on Country Airplay, which is an incredible feat that not many artists can flaunt. Even his most recent album, Growin’ Up (released just this year), has kept the artist at the top of the charts, and he has thirteen million monthly listeners on Spotify.
The Kind of Love We Make is a song of his that’s admittedly constantly stuck in my head. It genuinely randomly pops up throughout my day and then I get stuck with the lyrics on my mind for hours. It’s just so catchy, and screams Luke Combs. When it Rains it Pours and Beer Never Broke My Heart are other notable tracks of his that have amassed a large amount of fans over the course of Combs’ career.
Beautiful Crazy simultaneously held the top spot on all five of Billboard’s country charts, including Top Country Albums and Hot Country Songs. Combs’ music is very real, and authentic country, and I think that’s why so many people adore his work. I am confident his career will continue to thrive for years to come.
3) Scotty McCreery (28 years old)
Like Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery is an artist that I have memories of from my childhood. I could probably recite The Trouble With Girls word for word to this day, even though I admittedly have not listened to it in awhile. McCreery’s music career started at the young age of seventeen, and has achieved a lot during this time. He won season ten of American Idol, which launched his popularity.
He has both Platinum and Gold certifications on his albums, and has three albums reach number one on a Billboard chart. He was named “Best American Idol” by the Los Angeles Times and “Country Music’s Sexiest Man”by Country Weekly Magazine. He has millions of followers on different social media platforms, and his popularity continues to grow.
Aside from The Trouble With Girls, other tracks including I Love You This Big and Damn Strait are clear fan favorites, and for good reason. Damn Strait, especially, is another favorite of mine, because, as mentioned earlier, I absolutely adore George Strait. McCreery himself even said Strait was his inspiration for wanting to become a country music singer. I think that can be seen in a lot of his music, which kind of has the same feel as many of Strait’s songs. That is one of the reasons I like him so much, just like William Michael Morgan. I have always loved when artists inspire others to pursue their dreams, and McCreery is a beautiful testament to that.
2) Kane Brown (28 years old)
Kane Brown seemingly came out of nowhere and shot to fame in a short amount of time. He has released hit after hit over the years, and has an incredibly dedicated fanbase. Brown grew up in both Georgia and Tennessee, raised by his single mother who had to move around a lot to prevent them from being homeless.
He was almost on The X Factor but left when the producers tried to force him to be part of a boy band. Brown’s fame started out with covers of songs by famous country artists that he posted on social media. He has been releasing music of his own since 2015, and is another artist that has had simultaneous number ones on all five of Billboard’s country charts. His album Experiment was released in 2018 and became his first album to top the Billboard 200 albums chart. He has won almost too many awards to list, but some include Favorite Country Male Artist in 2018 and 2019, and Male Video of the Year in 2019.
Heaven is arguably Brown’s most famous song, though he has countless loved others. It’s difficult to say what songs of his in particular that I love without listing basically all of them, but Worship You and Like I Love Country Music are a few. It is clear that Brown had a rough childhood and fought to get where he is today, and he truly has earned it.
His love for country music is clear in his work, and I think that is one of the reasons why fans love him so much. His passion makes you want to listen to him. The first time I heard his music, I binged it for hours, and I still continue to listen to his work often. He is quickly becoming one of the most popular faces of modern country music, and for good reason.
1) Morgan Wallen (29 years old)
Of course I had to put Morgan Wallen at the top of this list. There was a point of time after Wasted on You was released that I felt like I couldn’t talk to anybody that listened to country music without them bringing up his name. Like Luke Combs, Wallen was an artist I refused to listen to for literal months because I did not want to succumb to all of the hype that surrounded him. But when I did finally listen to him, I regretted not getting into his music sooner.
Coming from Tennessee, Wallen started singing in church at just three years old and began playing violin at five. He was on The Voice in 2014 but was eliminated in the playoffs. Regardless, this exposure was a kickstart to his fame and the world was ready to listen when he released his first single in 2016. Wallen quickly hit a snag in his career in 2021 when he was suspended by his record label and his songs were removed from country radio after a video of him saying the N-word leaked to the internet.
But he seemed to quickly overcome this considering his album If I Know Me went Double Platinum and Dangerous: The Double Album won the ACM Album of the Year award (which can certainly be argued is a problem in and of itself). Dangerous topped the Billboard 200 Albums end of year chart in 2021, having sold four million units and earning him four 2022 Billboard nominations. His career has continued to skyrocket since.
Wallen is a talent, but you have to wonder if his continued success (with limited repercussions) is a sad example of country music’s on-going race problem with black people.
It is difficult to narrow down a list like this when there are so many young male artists that are making a name for themselves in country music. They all have dedicated fanbases, impressive awards, and incredible songs. Their fame is warranted, as they have all worked hard to get to where they are.
I personally love many of these artists, and had a good idea from the beginning of who I was going to put on this list. Regardless, I hope you adore these artists as much as I do. This was my list of the top young male country singers making music right now.
- This article was written by Angela and edited by Michael.