Austin, Texas is considered to be the live-music capital of the United States, boasting more concert venues per capita than cities such as Los Angeles, New York and, yes, even Nashville. The Lone Star State as a whole is also synonymous with Western movies and the iconic image of the American cowboy. Given this, it should come as no surprise that some of the biggest names in country music were born in Texas. Read on to find out which country singers were born in the second-largest state... that one no one in their right mind should mess with.
George Strait was born on May 18, 1952 in Poteet, a small town of only 3,260 people that is known for its Strawberry Festival... and Strait. He is known as "The King of Country" and for helping to take country music back to its roots in the 1980s. Notable hits include "Write This Down," "She'll Leave You with a Smile" and "I Hate Everything." Strait released his 30th studio album, Honky Tonk Machine, in 2019.
Waylon Jennings was born on the J.W. Bittner farm just outside Littlefield on June 15, 1937. The outlaw-country pioneer recorded the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard TV show and was one of the Highwaymen alongside Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash. Jennings was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 shortly before passing away in Arizona in 2002.
Born on April 29, 1933 in Abbott, singer and activist Willie Nelson is one of the most recognizable faces in country music. The living legend, whose songs include "On the Road Again" and "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," has appeared in over 30 movies and is an advocate for biofuels and the legalization of marijuana. Nelson has been honored with 13 Grammys and has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States since starting his career in the 1950s.
George Jones was born on September 12, 1931 in Saratoga and raised in Colmesneil in the Big Thicket region in the southeastern portion of the Lone Star State. Jones was gifted a guitar at age nine and drew inspiration from the vocal styles of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. Best known for his song "He Stopped Loving Her Today," Jones passed away in 2013 at the age of 81 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Don Williams was born on May 27, 1939 in Floydada, a town that today has a population of approximately 3,000 people. The Gentle Giant, as he was nicknamed, is best remembered for the song "I Believe in You." Williams was one of the best-selling male country artists in the 1970s and early '80s. He passed away on September 8, 2017 in Mobile, Alabama.
Roy Orbison was born on April 23, 1936 in a town called Vernon. The singer with his trademark thick-rimmed glasses and vulnerable-sounding voice is best known for haunting songs such as "Only the Lonely," "Crying," "In Dreams," "Oh, Pretty Woman" and, later in his career, "You Got It." The cofounder of the Traveling Wilburys passed away on December 6, 1988 in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Kris Kristofferson was born on June 22, 1936 in Brownsville. The outlaw country singer has more than 100 film roles under his belt over the past 50 years, making him one of the most prolific country singers turned actors in history. He earned praise, including a Best Actor Golden Globe, for his performance opposite Barbra Streisand in A Star is Born. He also appeared in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Vigilante Force, Heaven's Gate and Welcome Home in the 1970s and '80s. Action fans love him as Abraham Whistler in the Blade vampire superhero trilogy starring Wesley Snipes. In 2015, he continued to demonstrate his broad acting range by playing President Andrew Jackson on the TV miniseries Texas Rising.
Kenny Rogers was born on August 21, 1938 in Houston. "The Gambler" singer recorded a popular duet with Dolly Parton titled "Islands in the Stream." "The Gambler" was written by Don Schlitz and recorded by several artists before Rogers made it a huge crossover hit in 1978. Rogers passed away in 2020 in Sandy Springs, Georgia at the age of 81.
Singer-actress-author Barbara Mandrell was born in Houston on Christmas Day, 1948. The singer of "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" and "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" had her own popular variety show titled Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters. Although she retired from recording and acting years ago, Mandrell entered the digital age in 2020 when she worked on a remix of "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed." Following this, all of her albums were released to streaming services for a new generation to discover.
Tanya Tucker was born on October 10, 1958 in Seminole. The outlaw country singer scored her signature hit, "Delta Dawn," in 1972 when she was only 13. Her 2019 album, While I'm Livin', won the Grammy for Best Country Album, proving she is a long way from being tuckered out careerwise.
Miranda Lambert was born on November 10, 1983 in Longview and raised in Lindale. While still in high school, Lambert made her professional singing debut with "The Texas Pride Band." Lambert has enjoyed much crossover success, including the songs "The House That Built Me," "Bluebird," "Over You" and "Somethin' Bad," the latter with Carrie Underwood. Lambert has been honored with more Academy of Country Music Awards than any other artist.
Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack was born on August 19, 1966 in Jacksonville, where she developed an interest in country music at an early age by helping her DJ father choose records to play on the air. Womack's signature song -- and biggest hit -- is 2000's "I Hope You Dance." The Grammy-winning singer released her ninth studio album, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, in 2017.
Kacey Musgraves was born on August 21, 1988 in the unincorporated community of Golden. The six-time Grammy winner is known for songs such as "Space Cowboy," "Butterflies" and "Follow Your Arrow." Musgraves released her fifth studio album, Star-Crossed, in 2021.
Maren Morris was born on April 10, 1990 in Arlington. After doing karaoke versions of songs by Patsy Cline and LeAnn Rimes and impressing her father with her natural singing talent, Morris continued singing and never stopped. Although Morris' roots are pure country, she incorporates element of pop, rock and R&B into her music. The Grammy winner is known for songs such as "Girl," "The Bones," "I Could Use a Love Song," "80s Mercedes" and "Rich," to name a few.
Holly Dunn was born on August 22, 1957 in San Antonio. The singer-songwriter is best known for the hit songs "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me," "Daddy's Hands," "Maybe I Mean Yes" and "You Really Had Me Going." Dunn released her final album, Full Circle, in 2003 and then retired from music. She passed away from ovarian cancer in 2016 at the age of 59 and is survived by her wife, Melissa Taylor.
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