When it comes to music, Texas has been a powerhouse in producing some of the most iconic musicians in various genres. From pop to soul, R&B to rock, Texas has given birth to many legendary singers, songwriters, and even actors. These artists have not only made a name for themselves in the music industry but have also influenced audiences worldwide.
Let’s explore some of the most famous musicians from Texas and their contributions to music:
- 1. ZZ Top
- 2. Beyoncé
- 3. George Strait
- 4. Erykah Badu
- 5. Waylon Jennings
- 6. Selena
- 7. Willie Nelson
- 8. Kenny Rogers
- 9. Roy Orbison
- 10. Townes Van Zandt
- 11. Buddy Holly
- 12. Meat Loaf
- 13. Janis Joplin
- 14. Lyle Lovett
- 15. Barry White
- 16. Kelly Clarkson
- 17. Kris Kristofferson
- 18. Jim Reeves
- 19. Kacey Musgraves
- 20. Usher
1. ZZ Top
ZZ Top is a blues rock band that gained fame with hits like “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs”. They are known for their distinctive sound, which blends blues, rock, and boogie rock. Their distinctive guitar style and rhythm made them unique, as well as their iconic beards and sunglasses.
Beyoncé, famed as Queen Bey, is a singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame as a member of the girl group Destiny’s Child before launching a successful solo career.
Known for her powerful vocals and dynamic performances, she has won 32 Grammy Awards and sold over 200 million units worldwide.
With her favorite hits like “Crazy IN Love,” “If I Were A Boy,” and “Halo,” Beyoncé is also recognized for her activism and philanthropy, particularly in the areas of racial justice and women’s empowerment.
3. George Strait
George Strait is a country music singer and songwriter who is often referred to as the “King of Country”. With over 120 million records sold worldwide.
Having won several awards including CMA and ACM awards, George Strait has a plethora of popular songs in his discography, such as “Amarillo by Morning” and “Give It All We Got Tonight”.
4. Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu is a singer, songwriter, and actress who is known for her soulful and experimental sound. She won multiple Grammy Awards and established her as a leading figure in neo-soul music.
Badu has appeared in films such as “House of D,” “The Cider House Rules,” and “Blues Brothers 2000.” Her authenticity and talent in R&B-soul has kept her in the spotlight.
5. Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings was a country music singer, songwriter, and actor who helped pioneer the outlaw country movement.
He recorded a string of hit songs including “Luckenbach, Texas” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”. Jennings was also known for his collaborations with other country music legends, such as Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
Dubbed as the “Queen of Tejano music,” Selena was a singer, songwriter, and fashion designer who rose to fame in the early 1990s and helped popularize Tejano music, a genre that blends traditional Mexican music with American rock and roll.
Selena was tragically killed at the age of 23, but her legacy has continued to inspire new generations of musicians and fans.
7. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a country music singer, songwriter, and actor who is one of the most iconic figures in outlaw country music. With hits like “Funny How Time Flies Away,” and “On The Road Again,” he has influenced generations of musicians with his distinctive sound.
Nelson is also recognized for his advocacy work, particularly in the areas of marijuana legalization and Farm Aid, a benefit concert for farmers.
8. Kenny Rogers
With over 100 million units sold worldwide, Kenny Rogers was a singer, songwriter, and actor who had a prolific career. He is known for his distinctive voice and numerous hit songs, including “The Gambler” and “She Believes In Me.” Rogers has won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards.
9. Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Vernon, Texas who was known for his distinctive voice and emotionally charged ballads. He recorded numerous hit songs in the 1960s, including “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Only the Lonely”.
Orbison is also recognized for his collaborations with other music legends, such as Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.
10. Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in country and folk music.
He recorded numerous songs throughout his career, and his songs have been covered by a wide range of artists. Van Zandt is known for his introspective lyrics and distinctive fingerpicking style.
11. Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who helped pioneer rock and roll music in the 1950s. He recorded numerous hit songs, including “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day”, before his tragic death.
Holly’s influence on popular music continues to this day, and he has been posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
12. Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf is a hard rock singer and actor who is known for his theatrical and bombastic performances. He gained fame with the album “Bat Out of Hell”, which has sold over 43 million copies worldwide. Meat Loaf has won a Grammy and other prestigious awards.
13. Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin was a charismatic singer and songwriter who is regarded as one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time. Joplin’s hits were her renditions of the songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Ball and Chain,” and “Piece of my heart,” which showed off her immense talent and unique throaty voice.
14. Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett is a singer-songwriter, record producer and actor from Klein, Texas who is known for his distinctive blend of country, rockabilly, and blues music.
He has recorded numerous albums throughout his career, and his songs have been covered by a wide range of artists. Lovett has won multiple awards, including four Grammy Awards, and has also appeared in numerous films and television shows.
15. Barry White
Barry White was a singer, songwriter, and record producer from Galveston, Texas who was known for his deep, soulful voice and romantic ballads.
His hit songs are “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” and “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” which made him popular. White’s music continues to be celebrated for its sensual and emotional power.
16. Kelly Clarkson
Thesinger behind the hits “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and “Because of You,” Kelly Clarkson is a singer, songwriter, and television personality who gained fame as the first winner of the television show “American Idol”.
Clarkson’s powerful voice and relatable lyrics have made her a beloved figure in the pop music world.
17. Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson is a singer, songwriter, and actor who is known for his heartfelt and socially conscious music. He gained fame in the 1970s with songs like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”.
Kristofferson has also had a successful acting career, appearing in films such as “A Star is Born” and “Blade”.
18. Jim Reeves
Jim Reeves was a country music singer and songwriter who was known for his smooth, velvety voice and his contributions to the Nashville sound of the 1950s and 1980s.
He recorded numerous hit songs, including “He’ll Have to Go” and “Welcome to My World”, before his tragic death in a plane crash in 1964. Reeves’ music continues to be celebrated for its timeless quality.
19. Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Golden, Texas who has been recognized for her unique blend of country, pop, and folk music.
She gained fame with albums like “Same Trailer Different Park” and “Golden Hour.” Over the years, she has won multiple Grammy Awards and also does music covers of other famous artist’s songs.
Usher is a singer, songwriter, and actor who has been recognized as one of the most successful R&B artists of all time. He gained fame with hits like “Nice & Slow” and “U Got It Bad,” and has since recorded numerous hit songs, including “Yeah!” and “Love in This Club.”
Usher’s smooth vocals and innovative productions have made him a fixture in the world of popular music.
Texas has produced some of the most legendary and influential musicians in music history.
Whether it is the gritty blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the romantic ballads of Barry White, or the powerful voice of Beyoncé, these musical legends and famous names have shown that Texas is truly a breeding ground for musical talent that everybody will recognize.
Beyoncé Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Sassy, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Erykah Badu Featured Image (Top-Right) by: Radiobums, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Selena Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/selena-quintanilla-perez/images/14697285/title/selena-photo, Fair use, Link
Usher Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons