Ah, 90s country. The glorious golden age that gave us neo-traditional gems, pop-country classics and linedancing. It was the decade of Garth, Tim, Faith and Shania and the infamous Class of 1989 — Randy Travis, Clint Black and Alan Jackson, to name a few. But it was also made up of several more young upstarts who were eager to follow in the boot-steps of their country heroes while pushing the genre into new and interesting directions. They may not have maintained the same level of fame as their contemporaries, but they’re still at the top of the chart in our hearts. Here are ten 90s country artists you forgot you loved.
Oklahoma-native Wade Hayes made his debut in 1994 with the rowdy “Old Enough to Know Better,” which rose to No. 1. Hayes followed up with a string of top 10 tracks, such as “I’m Still Dancing With You,” “On a Good Night” and “The Day She Left Tulsa (In a Chevy).”
Hayes was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2011. His battle with the disease inspired his song “Is It Already Time” and the subsequent album Go Live Your Life. Hayes has been in remission since 2012. Last year, he released his sixth studio album Old Country Song.
Canadian country artist Paul Brandt rose to fame with his 1996 debut single “My Heart Has a History.” He continued the success with his song “I Do,” which went to No. 2 on the Billboard chart.
Brandt has won several Canadian Country Music Awards and continues to tour regularly.
Keith Urban is not the only Aussie in the country music game. Australian singer and actress Sherrié Austin scored her highest charting single with 2003’s “Streets of Heaven” but her late ’90s jams “Lucky in Love” and “Never Been Kissed” should’ve been smash hits.
James Bonamy’s 1996 debut album What I Live to Do spawned the single (and underrated ’90s classic) “I Don’t Think I Will,” which rose to the No. 2 spot on the country chart. He went on to release one more studio album, 1997’s Roots and Wings.
Lila McCann made her country debut when she was just a teenager. “Down Came a Blackbird,” her first single from her debut album Lila, peaked at No. 28. The album’s second single, “I Wanna Fall in Love,” became her highest-charting single and proved McCann was a force to be reckoned with.
McCann released her latest album Paint This Town last year.
Canadian country trio The Wilkinsons delivered late ’90s pop-country perfection with their singles “26 Cents” and “Fly (The Angel Song).”
Two-thirds of the group (brother and sister, Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson) founded a duo, Small Town Pistols, in 2012.
Lee Roy Parnell
A celebrated singer, songwriter and blues guitarist, Lee Roy Parnell ruled 90s country radio with his songs “On the Road,” “Tender Moment” and “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am.”
One of the most underrated voices in early 90s country, Doug Supernaw is known for his songs “Reno” and “I Don’t Call Him Daddy,” which hit No. 1 in 1993.
Austin, Texas native Rick Trevino scored a string of country hits in the mid-90s, including “She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry,” “Bobbie Ann Mason,” “Learning as You Go” and “Running Out of Reasons to Run.”
The daughter of country legend June Carter and the step daughter of Johnny Cash, Carlene Carter has country music in her blood. But she has a sound and style that’s all her own. Carter brought a dose of rockabilly attitude with her songs “Every Little Thing,” “I Fell in Love” and “Come on Back.”