Black Country Artists to Add to Your Playlist: Mickey Guyton and Kane Brown in the "Nothing Compares to You" music video

32 Incredible Black Country Artists You Need to Know

From Breland to Brittney Spencer, these noteworthy Black country artists are making waves with new perspectives and twists on the genre.

An unfortunate truth is that country music has — for the majority of its history — coded as “white” on the surface. While the genre has evolved over time, an often overlooked aspect is the significant contributions of Black musicians. So much so, that they’re erased altogether by those who don’t know any better. The success and controversy of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X only shined a brighter light on that fact. Now, with Beyoncé‘s Act II album annoucement and the drop of pre-release country singles “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” the truth is unmistakebly spotlit across the board. Beyond the stereotypes and misconceptions, Black country artists play an essential role in shaping the genre. They push boundaries, and challenge societal norms. Ultimately, they shake up expectations of what country singers “should” look and sound like.

Yes, there’s plenty of room at the table for country artists of color. Today, the number of mainstream Black country artists is on the rise, spanning from living legends to newbies on the scene. Even better, they’ve all curated their own signature sounds and continue to explore them as the industry shifts in this modern era. If you’ve been curious about Black country and country-adjacent artists to expand your own horizons, here’s who we have on our radar.

Rhiannon Giddens

Lovingly dubbed #banjoauntie, singer and instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens racked up long list of accolades over the span of her career. As a two-time Grammy Award winner and Pulitzer Prize winner (plus many more), Giddens makes it a mission to fill the gaps in the roots of America’s music by championing underrepresented, overlooked, and forgotten voices in the industry. With such a robust living legacy, her banjo and viola contributions to Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” is a message in the movement. In addition to her solo work, Giddens has appeared in numerous collaborations with a number of artists, further cementing her passion and advocacy for the musical arts. Her third studio album, Grammy-nominated You’re the One, was released in 2023.

Darius Rucker

Following a successful stint as the frontman for Grammy Award-winning rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker released his first country album in 2008. By 2009, he won a CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. Known for his warm baritone vocals, Rucker is the epitome of a crossover success. Even after gaining notoriety with his band, he humbly worked his way up as a newcomer in the country world. Five years after his country debut, Rucker won a Grammy for his 2013 cover of “Wagon Wheel.” His latest country album, Carolyn’s Boy, dropped in October 2023.

Mickey Guyton

In 1974, The Pointer Sisters became the first Black women nominated for a country music Grammy Award. Forty-six years later, the next was Mickey Guyton. An exceptional talent, Guyton released her first EP in 2014 and her first studio album in 2021. Her Grammy-nominated single “Black Like Me,” inspired by the book of the same name, explored her experiences with racial discrimination. Over the years, she’s become known for her heartfelt lyrics and captivating, soulful sound that blends elements of traditional country, contemporary pop, gospel, and R&B. Guyton has also been a notable trailblazer as an advocate for diversity in the country music industry. In 2023, Guyton teamed up with fellow country artist Kane Brown on “Nothing Compares to You.”

The War and Treaty

The War and Treaty combines elements of country, soul, folk, and gospel to make a showstopping impact. The duo consists of married couple Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter, who use their harmonious vocals to transcend genre boundaries. Their emotionally-charged lyrics have garnered critical acclaim, including a CMT Music Award, and a devoted fan base. With the 2023 release of their fourth studio album, Lover’s Game, this powerful pair brings a unique and dynamic sound to the country music landscape.

Rissi Palmer

After hitting the country music scene in 2007 with “Country Girl,” Rissi Palmer charted a path destined to succeed. Sticking to her guns and refusing to settle for just any genre that came along paid off. She landed a country record deal, and went on to release three tracks that charted within the Top 100 on the Billboard‘s Hot Country chart. She was the first Black woman to chart since Dona Mason in 1987. Along with multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, Palmer has performed at the White House, Lincoln Center, and more. In 2023, she was featured in an episode of PBS’ American Masters showcasing a Color Me Country day at an England music festival. Today, you can find her advocating for country artists of color and hosting Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer on Apple Music.

Kane Brown

With country and R&B musical influences, Kane Brown rose to fame as he uploaded song covers on social media. After crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Brown released his first EP, Closer, in 2015. Tracks “Used to Love You Sober,” “Last Minute Late Night,” and “I Love That I Hate You” made him stand out as a rising star in the 2010s. So far, he’s released three EPs and three studio albums, including 2022’s Different Man, a project in which he took on the role of co-producer for the first time. During the span of his career, he’s collaborated with artists such as Khalid, Becky G, Swae Lee, Chris Young, and more. Brown’s crossover appeal makes him a exceptional figure in modern country, and his authenticity resonates with fans of all genres.

Brittney Spencer

Baltimore native Brittney Spencer is an emerging country singer-songwriter who’s truly changing the game. However, she’s no stranger to the music industry. She toured with Carrie Underwood and Christopher Cross, and worked as a background singer and vocal teacher on the path to her own success. Spencer gained attention for her diverse blend of musical influences that include Beyoncé and Miranda Lambert. She evokes the imaginative, soulful energy of her free spirit; and with singles like “Compassion” and “Sober & Skinny,” the authenticity and emotional depth of her music shines through.

Willie Jones

Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, Willie Jones has graced the stages of Lollapalooza, CMA Fest, and Stagecoach to bring a sensational blend of “Block Party and Barn Dance” (Spotify). Known for his rich baritone voice and dynamic stage presence, the country singer-songwriter gained initial fame through his appearance on The X Factor in 2012. He’s since released singles, such as “Down For It” and “American Dream.” His most recent music reflects a blend of contemporary country with hip-hop and pop influences, showcasing his unique artistic vision. Something To Dance To, his first album under a major label, was released in June 2023.

Tanner Adell

Chances are you’ve seen beach blonde “Buckle Bunny” singer Tanner Adell on social media. The Nashville-based country artist has more than a few viral TikToks that include clips of her catchy singles, like “Love You A Little Bit” and “Do-Si-Don’tcha.” Featuring tongue-in-cheek lyrics and the attitude to match, Adell’s music showcases influences of country, pop, and hip-hop. Standout tracks (other than the aforementioned) include “I Hate Texas,” “Throw It Back,” and “FU-150.” Signaling a rise of her star, Adell landed on the roster of CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2024.


Shaboozey is a rapper and producer known for his high-energy performances and clever wordplay. Notably, his rumbling, bass-heavy hip-hop track, “Start A Riot,” appears on the Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack. It stands in delightful contrast to his country catalog. The range and depth of his skills as a musician shine in tracks like “Let It Burn” and “Anabelle.” Emerging from the underground scene, he’s built a dedicated fanbase through his mixtapes and freestyles. He shares his work most prominently on social media.

Chapel Hart

Hailing from Mississippi, this talented country music trio consists of sisters Danica and Devyn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle. They busked on the streets of New Orleans by performing cover songs in the early days of their career. In 2022, Chapel Hart made the Top 5 of America’s Got Talent. Known for rich harmonies and energetic performances, they bring a fresh and dynamic sound to the country genre. Their music reflects a blend of traditional country roots and contemporary influences. Notable tracks include “Jesus & Alcohol,” “You Can Have Him Jolene,” and “Welcome to Fist City.” Of those three, the writing of “Welcome to Fist City” was a personal request from the late Loretta Lynn as a response to her song, “Fist City,” prior to her passing in 2022. The group’s third studio album, Glory Days, was released in May 2023.

Don Louis

Don Louis is blowing through the Texas country music scene with all the angsty, lover boy ballads one heart can handle. The singer self-proclaims that he makes poverty and pain sound romantic, and does so all over his acoustic guitar. On tour, he’s backed by a live band, which allows him to croon and groove with his audience. If country music had a Drake, it just might be Don Louis. Though, this Texas-raised artist is clearly blazing a trail of his own.

Miko Marks

An alumni of the 2022 class of CMT’s Next Women in Country, Miko Marks is proof you can always come back to your dream. Her journey to country stardom began in the early 2000s, including the release of albums Freeway Bound (2005) and It Feels Good (2007). Then, she took a break from recording. Marks spent years on the gig circuit before returning to the booth with former bandmates in 2020 and premiering her first singles in over a decade. 2022 was an especially big year for the Michigan-born singer. She released the album Feels Like Going Home and was featured in the American Currents: State of the Music exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2024, Marks will appear on The Grand Ole Opry on February 23 before taking off on the Trailblazing Women of Country Tour with singer-songwriter Kristina Train.


Mixing country, hip-hop, and R&B, Breland is a genre-blurring artist who’s the perfect introduction for pop listeners new to country. With a background in engineering, he brings a fresh perspective to music. Breland’s notable tracks include “My Truck” and “Cross Country.” He makes waves pushing boundaries in the industry with his musical collaborations and innovative approach to blending musical styles. His latest single, “Heartbreak and Alcohol,” dropped February 16.

Reyna Roberts

Singer-songwriter and pianist Reyna Roberts made her mainstream country debut in 2020 with “Stompin’ Grounds,” but was tapped as one to watch years before. Her first EP, The Beginning, dropped in 2016 along with the track “I’m Coming For Ya.” She also went on tour as an opening act for rock band Plain White T’s the same year. Today, Roberts is a rising star in country music with powerful vocals, authentic storytelling, and a modern twist on the genre. Her debut studio album, Bad Girl Bible, Vol. 1, was released in September 2023.

Blanco Brown

Singer-songwriter, rapper, and producer Blanco Brown left a lasting impression with debut single “The Git Up.” That chart-topping hit and viral dance challenge was only the beginning. Brown incorporates elements of country, rap, and R&B to highlight his versatility in the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary country music. His upcoming “Trailer Trap” EP, Heartache and Lemonade, drops April 5.

Camille Parker

Among the 2022 class of CMT’s Next Women of Country, Camille Parker is known for catchy melodies and vibrant performances. While exploring different sonic landscapes, she stays true to her pop sensibilities. Her debut single, “The Flame,” ranked in the top ten of Apple’s Country Music Charts in 17 countries. After the Whiskey: Part II, the follow-up to her 2023 debut EP, is scheduled for release this year. Recently, she made her debut at The Grand Ole Opry and continues to work on new music.


Fueled by childhood influences of country legends and alternative rock, Denitia discovered her musical journey through school choir and mastering multiple instruments. After spending a decade in Brooklyn, her exceptional talent eventually brought her back to Tennessee and the release of her 2022 album, Highways, described as an “alt-country ramble.” This return to her country music roots earned her recognition, including NPR’s Artist to Watch, the Black Opry, and CMT’s Next Woman of Country in 2024. Denitia’s upcoming album, Sunset Drive, promises a “louder evolution of the tenderness in Highways,” according to the singer. With an extensive touring history, notable collaborations, and music featured in films and television, she stands as a compelling force in the country music scene.

The Kentucky Gentlemen

The Kentucky Gentlemen consists of twin brothers, Brandon and Derek Campbell, who are definitely ones to watch in the country music scene. Cutting their teeth in the heartland of country music, their current success comes as no surprise to anyone who understands what is possible when two church choir-bred, guitar-playing vocalists decide that country music is their thing. And they’ve indeed made it their own, blending the crisp vocal clarity of your favorite 90s boy band with a little country twang. Their understanding of their sound has garnered the title of 2023 ‘Artist to Watch’ by both NPR and Nashville’s Country Music Almanac. They’ve also been included in the 2023-2024 Academy of Country Music “Future Leaders of The Music Industry”  OnRamp Program which is still in its inaugural year.

O.N.E The Duo

This mother-daughter duo brought their lyrical and vocal talents to Nashville in 2016. There, they found community and collaborators around their folksy and sultry sound. O.N.E The Duo consists of Tekitha and Prana Supreme, daughter of Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA. O.N.E represents observant, noetic, effervescent. There seems to be little they won’t explore together through music: Their debut album, Blood Harmony, covers everything from guilt to love to the meaning of home. Lead single “Hoedown” has all the punch you’d expect from a hands-off-my-man track. It’s one of many that shows their awareness and mastery of their hip-hop and R&B lineages.

Tony Evans Jr.

Country crooner Tony Evans Jr. cites some of his musical influences as Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, and George Strait. His biggest inspiration, however, is his father. An Atlanta native, the singer-songwriter first picked up his dad’s guitar at age 14 and never looked back. Since then, he gained steam uploading videos of covers and original music on social media. Evans Jr. has also put out a number of singles since 2020 with notable tracks like “Photo Booth” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” He released his second EP, Starless, in March 2023.

Adia Victoria

Captivating singer Adia Victoria brings a fresh perspective to the country music genre. With a haunting voice and introspective lyrics, she explores themes of identity and Southern heritage. Described by Victoria as “gothic blues,” her sound combines elements of country, blues, punk, rock, and soul. Her work also delves into social issues and personal narratives, creating a unique space and challenging conventions.


Yola, a British-born powerhouse, brings soulful richness to the genre. She seamlessly combines country, Americana, and soul to create a sound uniquely her own. With seven Grammy nominations and a reputation for epic live performances, Yola breaks barriers and captivating audiences worldwide. Yola will be kicking off My Way: An Intimate Tour in March. See if she’s visiting a stop near you, and get tickets here.


If you love the merging of country and rap production techniques, give Rvshvd a listen. Drawing equal inspiration from the likes of Darius Rucker and Lil Wayne, his fresh and audacious brand of country has the delivery and tone of the some of the genre’s greats. Though the Willacoochie, Georgia native has been making music for 10 years, his star has been consistently on the rise after his cover of Roddy Rich’s “The Box” went viral on TikTok. Across platforms, fans of every identity comment to laud his impressive vocal ability and their connection to his lyrics. A favorite is “Small Town Talk,” where Rvshvd lets his values of loyalty, honesty, and wholesome good times shine through.

Julie Williams

Julie Williams, another CMT Next Women of Country artist (Class of 2023), grew up singing in church, bars, and stadiums. Influenced by diverse artists like The Chicks and Michael Jackson, the Nashville-based singer crafts a unique sound. Her debut EP, Lovecycle, garnered attention in 2019, leading to features in People of Duke Arts and performances at significant events. Williams has performed at the Kennedy Center, toured with the Black Opry Revue, and even embarked on her own solo tour that took her around the globe. She released her self-titled EP in 2023.

Shy Carter

Shy Carter isn’t your average genre jumper. His roots in jazz, gospel, and R&B are clear in his smooth and earthy tone, and he’s found a comfortable home for his unique storytelling ability in country music. Highly sought after in Nashville, he’s already featured on tracks with country greats, such as Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and more. Carter performed his single “Jesus at the Taco Truck” with Frank Ray at The Grand Ole Opry, the poetic ode to love and sacrifice earning rousing applause. Before taking the classic country stage, Shy stated, “I’m just grateful I have real people that can see my heart and soul”. His sound couldn’t be described better. It’s all heart, all soul and a distinctive take on country that pushes the genre to new heights.

Tiera Kennedy

Tiera Kennedy infuses her music with soulful vocals and heartfelt lyrics. Hailing from Alabama, she brings a aouthern charm to her sound with her sweet voice and authentic storytelling. Her recent appearances include a Roscolusa Songwriters Festival performance and hosting the The Tiera Show radio broadcast on Apple Music. “Jesus, My Mama, and My Therapist,” the lead single from her forthcoming full-length debut album, was released last year.


Coming down from Canada is honey-voiced songstress SACHA, a quickly-rising newbie to the North American country scene. Though her first single came out in 2012, she released her first EP, The Best Thing, in 2020. Alongside Brittney Spencer, Chapel Hart, Reyna Roberts, SACHA was part of the 2021 class of CMT’s Next Women of Country. She also earned her first platinum single in Canada with The Reklaws for the word-playful track “What the Truck”. Her latest single, “Confident,” features fellow Canadian singer Tyler Shaw.

Amythyst Kiah

Celebrated for her soulful voice and poignant storytelling, Amythyst Kiah brings a distinctive blend of roots, blues, and Americana. Kiah gained widespread acclaim with her Grammy-nominated collaboration on the “Our Native Daughters” project in 2019. Her 2021 solo album, Wary + Strange, further solidified her place as an artist with a fearless approach to music. Kiah is taking her authenticity and powerful performances on the road as she tours this year.

Allison Russell

Allison Russell, a Grammy Award-winning Canadian-American singer-songwriter, is a captivating force in music. Her soul-stirring voice, combined with a masterful command of various instruments, creates a sound that transcends genres. Born in Montreal, she co-founded the acclaimed group “Our Native Daughters” with Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, and Rhiannon Giddens. A powerful advocate for diversity and social justice, Russell stands as both a musical trailblazer and a poignant voice for change.

K. Michelle

Originally known for R&B and reality TV, Memphis-born K. Michelle isn’t a traditional country singer; however, her versatility and exploration of the genre demonstrates her willingness to experiment with different musical styles. Her soulful voice and songwriting skills have earned her a unique place in the music industry, bridging gaps between genres. She’s expected to make her official country music debut after the release of her final R&B album, I’m the Problem. K. Michelle officially debuted her country alter-ego “Puddin” at CMA Fest in 2023,

Daniel Houze

As a genuine country singer immersed in rustic traditions, Daniel Houze performs primarily in southern Mississippi as a local artist. He released his debut single “Tequila Rose” in 2019 and another single, “Whiskey & Smoke,” in 2023.

Header: Mickey Guyton and Kane Brown in “Nothing Compares to You” (Capitol Records Nashville; UMG Recordings, Inc.)

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