20 Famous Musicians From Oklahoma

In this article, we will explore the careers and contributions of 20 notable musicians from the Sooner State, showcasing their exceptional talents and the indelible impact they have made on the world of music.

Oklahoma, a state rich in culture and history, has also been a breeding ground for some of the most iconic and influential musicians across various genres.

From the soulful melodies of jazz to the storytelling prowess of country music, and from the infectious rhythms of R&B and funk to the heartfelt emotions of pop-punk and contemporary Christian music, Oklahoma’s musical landscape is as diverse as it is remarkable.

1. J. J. Cale

J.J. Cale ''his masterpiece'' Live  HDJ.J. Cale ”his masterpiece” Live HD

Hailing from Oklahoma, J.J. Cale was a pioneer of the Tulsa Sound, blending blues, rock, and country elements into his laid-back, signature style. His influential songwriting and guitar work have left an indelible mark on the music industry and inspired legends like Eric Clapton and Neil Young

2. Vince Gill

Vince Gill - "Killer Guitar Player"Vince Gill – “Killer Guitar Player”

Vince Gill is a versatile singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who has become a fixture in the country music scene. With his warm, emotive voice and unparalleled guitar skills, Gill has garnered numerous awards and accolades throughout his storied career.

3. Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie-This Land Is Your LandWoody Guthrie-This Land Is Your Land

As an Oklahoma-born folk singer and songwriter, Woody Guthrie gave voice to the American working class. His socially conscious lyrics and enduring melodies continue to inspire generations of musicians and activists.

4. Toby Keith

Toby Keith - Should've Been a Cowboy Live XXVToby Keith – Should’ve Been a Cowboy Live XXV

A powerhouse in the country music world, Oklahoma native Toby Keith’s blend of humor, patriotism, and storytelling has endeared him to fans around the globe. With his rich baritone and catchy tunes, Keith has become an enduring symbol of American country music.

5. Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks Performs His Classic ‘Callin’ Baton Rouge’Garth Brooks Performs His Classic ‘Callin’ Baton Rouge’

Garth Brooks revolutionized country music with his energetic performances and crossover appeal. As one of the best-selling solo artists of all time, Brooks’ blend of rock and country influences crafted a sound that resonated with fans far beyond the traditional country music demographic.

6. Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire Performs at the 2015 ACM'sReba McEntire Performs at the 2015 ACM’s

Known as the “Queen of Country,” Oklahoma’s own Reba McEntire has captivated audiences for decades with her powerful voice and emotive storytelling.

A trailblazer for female artists in the country music scene, McEntire’s influence can be heard in the work of countless musicians who followed in her footsteps.

7. Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard: "Sing Me Back Home"Merle Haggard: “Sing Me Back Home”

Oklahoma-born outlaw country icon Merle Haggard’s raw, honest songwriting reflected the struggles and joys of everyday life. His distinctive voice and introspective lyrics have left a lasting impact on the world of country music.

8. Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton - Home (Official Live Video)Blake Shelton – Home (Official Live Video)

A charismatic country singer and television personality from Oklahoma, Blake Shelton has enjoyed immense success both on and off the stage. With his deep, soulful voice and relatable lyrics, Shelton has become a beloved figure in contemporary country music.

9. The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips: Tiny Desk (Home) ConcertThe Flaming Lips: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Hailing from Oklahoma City, The Flaming Lips are known for their psychedelic soundscapes and elaborate live shows. Their experimental approach to music has carved out a unique niche in alternative rock and earned them a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim.

10. Patti Page

Patti Page - Tennessee WaltzPatti Page – Tennessee Waltz

Oklahoma’s Patti Page was a pop and country vocalist whose smooth, expressive voice made her one of the most successful female singers of the 1950s. With her timeless hits, Page secured her place as a musical icon.

11. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood - Blown Away Medley (Live)Carrie Underwood – Blown Away Medley (Live)

As an Oklahoma native, Carrie Underwood rose to fame after winning American Idol and quickly became a country music sensation. Her powerful vocals and relatable lyrics have garnered her numerous awards and a devoted fan base.

12. Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson - Thunder On The MountainWanda Jackson – Thunder On The Mountain

Known as the “Queen of Rockabilly,” Oklahoma-born Wanda Jackson’s distinctive voice and pioneering spirit made her a trailblazer for female rock ‘n’ roll artists. Her groundbreaking work has had a lasting impact on the music industry.

13. Cross Canadian Ragweed

Cross Canadian Ragweed - Alabama (Closed Captioned)Cross Canadian Ragweed – Alabama (Closed Captioned)

Formed in Oklahoma, Cross Canadian Ragweed combined elements of country, rock, and Americana to create a unique sound that captivated fans of multiple genres. Their heartfelt lyrics and energetic live performances earned them a dedicated following.

14. Tyson Ritter

All American Rejects - It Ends Tonight - Live at Soundstage (HD)All American Rejects – It Ends Tonight – Live at Soundstage (HD)

As the lead singer and bassist of the All-American Rejects, Tyson Ritter has become a prominent figure in the pop-punk and emo scenes. Born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Ritter’s magnetic stage presence and powerful vocals have helped the band achieve international success.

With a string of chart-topping hits, Ritter’s emotional and raw lyrics have resonated with fans across generations, securing his place among Oklahoma’s most famous musicians.

15. Jimmy Rushing

Going To Chicago  Jimmy RushingGoing To Chicago Jimmy Rushing

Known as “Mr. Five by Five” for his short and stout stature, Jimmy Rushing was a prolific jazz and blues singer hailing from Oklahoma City.

With a career spanning four decades, Rushing’s emotive voice and dynamic stage presence made him a vital component of the legendary Count Basie Orchestra. His powerful vocals and soulful style have left an indelible mark on the jazz and blues genres.

16. Jean Shepard

Jean Shepard ~ Tennessee Waltz (Opry Live, 1998)Jean Shepard ~ Tennessee Waltz (Opry Live, 1998)

As one of the pioneering women in country music, Jean Shepard, born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, made a significant impact on the industry with her honky-tonk style and trailblazing career.

With a career spanning over six decades, Shepard released numerous chart-topping hits and became a longstanding member of the Grand Ole Opry. Her powerful vocals and unapologetic lyrics paved the way for future generations of female country artists.

17. Sandi Patty

Sandi Patty - We Shall Behold Him (Official Live Video)Sandi Patty – We Shall Behold Him (Official Live Video)

Sandi Patty is a celebrated contemporary Christian music artist with a remarkable five-decade career. Known for her incredible vocal range and emotive performances, Patty has amassed numerous awards.

Her contributions to Christian music have solidified her as one of the most influential and respected artists in the genre.

18. The Gap Band

The Gap Band Medley (Live à St Thomas - Iles Vierges Américaine) (1999)The Gap Band Medley (Live à St Thomas – Iles Vierges Américaine) (1999)

Formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Gap Band was a highly influential R&B and funk group that rose to prominence in the late 1970s and 1980s. Comprising brothers Charlie, Ronnie, and Robert Wilson, the band’s infectious grooves, tight harmonies, and danceable beats made them a staple of the era.

Their timeless hits like “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Outstanding” continue to inspire and influence modern R&B and funk musicians.

19. Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie  It's Always SomethingJoe Diffie It’s Always Something

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Joe Diffie was a beloved country music artist with a career spanning three decades. Known for his distinctive honky-tonk sound and relatable storytelling, Diffie’s music resonated with fans across the country.

With numerous chart-topping hits such as “Pickup Man” and “Third Rock from the Sun,” Diffie’s legacy endures as a staple of 1990s country music.

20. Lee Hazlewood

Lee Hazlewood - She Comes Running & the House Song LIVE  recording studio 1968Lee Hazlewood – She Comes Running & the House Song LIVE recording studio 1968

Born in Mannford, Oklahoma, Lee Hazlewood was a versatile singer-songwriter, record producer, and musician whose contributions to the music world spanned genres such as country, pop, and rock.

Best known for his work with Nancy Sinatra, particularly on their iconic hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” Hazlewood’s unique baritone voice and distinctive songwriting style have left an unforgettable mark on popular music.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Oklahoma has produced an incredible array of talented musicians who have left their mark on the music industry.

These accomplished musicians not only celebrate the diverse musical heritage of Oklahoma but also continue to inspire and influence new generations of artists around the world.

Garth Brooks Featured Image (Top-Left) by: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Reba McEntire Featured Image (Top-Right) by: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Garth Brooks Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: DoD News, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Carrie Underwood Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Cosmopolitan UK, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons