List of Top 20 Famous Musicians from Arkansas

List of Top 20 Famous Musicians from Arkansas

Arkansas has given birth to some of the most remarkable and influential musicians across all genres of music. This state has been the breeding ground for numerous legendary musicians, from soulful country melodies to electrifying rock beats. Singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists have all emerged from Arkansas, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry with their exceptional talent and creativity.

Arkansas has given birth to some exceptional musicians who have significantly impacted their respective genres. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of these gifted individuals and their notable contributions to the world of music.

1. Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash - Man in Black (The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show)

Johnny Cash, famously known as the “Man in Black,” is a renowned country singer-songwriter hailing from Kingsland, Arkansas. His music is recognized for its authentic sincerity and compelling narrative, incorporating a mix of country, gospel, and folk elements.

Johnny Cash was a highly successful musician who produced many hit songs. Some of his most well-known songs include “Ring of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” His music has been widely appreciated and has sold over 90 million units worldwide. Johnny Cash is regarded as one of the most significant figures in country music history.

2. Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo is an R&B sensation who has won multiple Grammy awards for his brilliant work as a singer, songwriter, and producer. He has earned immense popularity with his chart-topping hits, including “So Sick,” “Miss Independent,” and “Closer.”

Ne-Yo, renowned for his silky-smooth vocals memorable hooks, has collaborated with countless artists and has sold millions of records globally. In addition to his music career, he has gained recognition as a judge on the hit television series World of Dance.

3. Al Green

Al Green - Let's Stay Together

With his smooth and soulful voice, Al Green has made a name for himself as a talented soul singer and songwriter. Throughout the 1970s, he recorded a wide range of hit songs that have become classics, such as “Let’s Stay Together,” “Tired of Being Alone,” “Take Me To The River,” and “Love and Happiness.” Green’s music has profoundly impacted the soul and R&B genres; he can be heard in the work of countless artists.

4. Amy Lee

Evanescence - My Immortal

Amy Lee is a renowned musician who has made her mark as a singer, songwriter, and pianist. One of her most notable achievements is being the lead vocalist of the rock band Evanescence. The band’s popularity skyrocketed with the release of their chart-topping hits, including “Bring Me to Life,” “My Immortal,” and “Going Under.”

Lee has made a name for herself as an influential figure in the rock music industry with her distinctively powerful vocals and captivatingly dark lyrics. Her unique style and sound have earned her a loyal following among fans, cementing her status as an icon of the genre.

5. Glen Campbell


Glen Campbell made a tremendous impact as a country singer-songwriter and guitarist throughout his career. He was responsible for recording some of the most popular and memorable tracks of his time, such as “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “Gentle on My Mind.”

Not only was Campbell a talented musician, but he also had a successful acting career, appearing in numerous films and television shows. His impressive accolades include six Grammy Awards, among others.

6. Dan Hicks

Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks-Canned Music

Dan Hicks, hailing from Little Rock, is a renowned singer-songwriter and musician. He has gained popularity through his songs “Canned Music” and “I Scare Myself,” which blend cowboy folk, bluegrass, and jazz. Additionally, he is recognized as the frontman of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.

7. Levon Helm

Levon Helm Ramble At The Ryman "Ophelia" on PBS

Levon Helm, one of the most prominent musicians of his time, was known for his exceptional skills as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame as the drummer and vocalist of the iconic rock band The Band, which he co-founded with other talented musicians.

Throughout their illustrious career, The Band produced many chart-topping hits that have stood the test of time. Iconic tracks such as “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Weight,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” remain fan favourites to this day. Moreover, Helm’s talents weren’t just confined to the realm of music – he also made a name for himself in the entertainment industry, appearing in various movies and TV shows.

8. Georgia Holt

Cher & Georgia Holt -I'm Just Your Yesterday in Ellen

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Georgia Holt established herself as a renowned pop and country singer, and her talent as a singer and actress catapulted her to fame. She has recorded numerous albums throughout her illustrious career and remains a celebrated figure in the music industry.

It’s worth noting that Holt is not only an accomplished actress in her own right but also the proud mother of the renowned actress and singer Cher. The two even collaborated on a duet called “I’m Just Your Yesterday,” which has become a fan-favourite. Holt has also appeared in several movies and TV shows throughout her career.

9. Conway Twitty

Conway Twitty - Hello Darlin' (1971).Conway Twitty – Hello Darlin’ (1971).

Country music legend Conway Twitty had an illustrious career as a singer and songwriter, creating chart-topping hits like “Hello Darlin’,” “It’s Only Make Believe,” and “Tight Fittin’ Jeans.”

With his enchanting voice and sentimental songwriting, Twitty holds a significant place in the annals of country music. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in the genre’s history.

10. Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton - The Desperate One (Live at Farm Aid 2003)

Billy Bob Thornton is a versatile artist known for his acting, music, and filmmaking prowess. He has released various albums, including “Private Radio,” “Hobo,” and “The Edge of The World,” and has travelled widely across the globe to perform.

Besides being an accomplished actor, Thornton has also made a name for himself as a screenwriter. He gained recognition for his remarkable performances in films like “Primary Colors,” “Armageddon,” and “Bad Santa.”

11. Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan - Choo choo ch'boogie

A renowned musician, Louis Jordan was known for his jazz, blues, and swing expertise. As a saxophonist, bandleader, and vocalist, he made a significant impact in the music industry by producing numerous hit songs such as “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,” “Caldonia,” and “Let the Good Times Roll” throughout his career.

Jordan was renowned for his music, which boasted energetic beats and captivating lyrics, making him an influential personality in the evolution of rhythm and jump blues music.

12. Jeremy Davis

Jeremy Davis: Live moments

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Jeremy Davis is a highly skilled jazz musician passionate about playing the bass. Formerly a member of the rock band Paramore, Davis is renowned for his virtuosic playing and ability to anchor a rhythm section with his steady bass lines.

13. Florence Price

Florence Price - Concert Ouverture No.2

Florence Price composed many classical music pieces throughout her career, including operas, piano concertos, and choral works. Notably, she made history as the first African-American woman to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra. Her contributions to the music world were groundbreaking and continue to inspire many.

Price’s music is renowned for its unique fusion of European classical styles and African-American musical traditions.

14. Luther Allison

Luther Allison - It Hurts Me Too at Montreal International Jazz Festival, 1997

From Widener, Arkansas, Luther Allison was a renowned blues guitarist and singer known for his mesmerizing guitar skills and soulful vocals. His repertoire of songs includes classics like “Love Me Mama,” “Night Life,” and “Live in Paris.”

Allison was greatly inspired by the vibrant Chicago blues scene, which heavily influenced his music. He quickly gained a following and became a beloved performer in blues clubs across the United States and Europe.

15. Ronnie Hawkins

Ronnie Hawkins - Bo Diddley (Live)

Ronnie Hawkins, the renowned rockabilly artist, rose to stardom as the lead singer of Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, who eventually became known as The Band.

Throughout his illustrious career, Hawkins produced numerous chart-topping songs, including “Forty Days” and “Mary Lou,” his live shows were always electrifying. Furthermore, Hawkins played a significant role in shaping the rock and roll scene in Canada, where he resided for a considerable period.

16. Patsy Montana

Patsy Montana - I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart - (ORIGINAL) - (1935).

Patsy Montana, a renowned singer-songwriter, was among the pioneering women in the country music industry to attain significant success. Her most well-known song, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” was released in 1935 and has stood the test of time.

Throughout her illustrious career, Montana remained dedicated to her craft and produced numerous recordings. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the country music industry, she was honoured with induction into the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.

17. Charlie Rich

Charlie Rich - Behind Closed Doors (Live)

In the 1970s, Charlie Rich made a name for himself as a successful country music singer and songwriter. His hits, such as “The Most Beautiful Girl” and “Behind Closed Doors,” were so popular that they even made it onto the pop charts.

Rich was renowned for his velvety and soulful vocals and his remarkable talent for combining country and different music genres. His unique style of music earned him a Grammy award and a place in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

18. Justin Moore

Justin Moore - Small Town USA

Justin Moore, a talented country music artist and songwriter, has made a name with multiple chart-topping hits, such as “Small Town USA” and “You Look Like I Need a Drink.” His impressive musical repertoire showcases his passion for the genre and ability to connect with audiences through his heartfelt lyrics and soulful performances.

Moore’s musical style is deeply rooted in traditional country themes and sounds. His exceptional talent has earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious New Artist of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music in 2014.

19. Kris Allen

Kris Allen - Live Like We're Dying - Live @ AOL Sessions

Kris Allen, a renowned singer-songwriter, hails from Jacksonville, Arkansas and is best known for winning the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. He has gone on to release multiple albums and has delighted audiences across the globe with his enthralling performances.

Allen is renowned for his music that blends pop and rock elements, and he has gained immense popularity for his chart-topping tracks such as “Li”e Like We’We’reing” a”d “Th” Vision of Love.”

2″. Beth Ditto

The Gossip - Standing in the way of control (live)

Beth Ditto is a singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of the indie rock band Gossip, which rose to prominence with the release of their album” ending in the Way of Control.”

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