HomeNewsFrom Garth Brooks to Shania Twain: Top 10 Country Stars of the ’90s

From Garth Brooks to Shania Twain: Top 10 Country Stars of the ’90s

by Jacklyn Krol
(Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Do you remember all of the greats from the 1990’s like Shania Twain or Garth Brooks? Discover ten of the most popular country artists from the decade that redefined music.

10. Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood‘s debut single, “She’s In Love With The Boy” hit No. 1 in 1991 and that was just the beginning. The soaring ballad, “How Do I Live” was released in 1997 which earned her a Grammy nomination. “Walkaway Joe,” “The Wrong Side of Memphis,” and “You’re Where I Belong” were also released in this decade.

9. Martina McBride

Marina McBride released her debut album, The Time Has Come, in 1992. Although one of the most prominent songs released in the decade was “Independence Day,” it did not reach the top 10. Radio programmers didn’t like the fact that the song spoke about a woman fighting back, even with an abusive husband, as the lyrics suggest.


Along with her debut album, she also released numerous records including: The Way That I Am, Wild Angels, Evolution, White Christmas, and Emotion.

8. Brooks & Dunn

In 1991, Brooks & Dunn was born. Their debut single, “Brand New Man,” went No. 1o nthe Hot Country Songs chart. They later released their first album with the same name and it reached 6x Platinum. They released five more records within the decade and solidified themselves as history-making country artists.

7. LeAnn Rimes

In 1996, she signed with Curb Records and re-recorded, “Blue.” By 1997, she became a pop-country crossover sensation and re-recorded covers of classic hits from both pop and country artists. In 1997 she also released, You Light Up My Life:
Inspirational Songs
which reached 4x Platinum status. 1999 was the last year of Rimes sticking to country music with her self-titled record before making the official transition into pop.

6. Reba McEntire

Imagine being a staple in country music and releasing nine records in a decade. Reba McEntire did just that. Every album was certified Gold or above and received critical praise and great success. McEntire’s best-known hit, “Fancy” was released in 1990. In 1991, McEntire dedicated her record, For My Broken Heart, to her band members that were killed in a tragic plane crash.

In 1992, McEntire released her seventeenth studio album, It’s Your Call. The album peaked at No. 8 on the all-genre Billboard 200, her first album to do so. By 1993, she released her Greatest Hits Volume Two. The compilation reached No. 1 on the Top Country Albums Chart and No. 5 on Billboard’s 200.

5. Alan Jackson

In 1990, Alan Jackson took home the ACM Award for Best New Male Artist. This decade brought the hits, “Pop a Top” and “Chattahoochee.” He released an impressive seven records, all of which reached Platinum status.

By the mid-90’s Jackson was a household name. He released The Greatest Hits Collection was released on October 24, 1995. The next year, “Little Bitty” earned Jackson a No. 1 hit.

In 1999, Jackson proved just how much of an outlaw and badass he was. The CMA Awards asked George Jones to trim his performance by 90 seconds, Jones declined and didn’t show up to the event. During Jackson’s performance he stopped his own song and went into Jones’ single “Choices” and then left the stage.

4. The Chicks (Formerly The Dixie Chicks)

Halfway through the ’90s,  Natalie Maines joined the group. They signed with Monument Records and released “I Can Love You Better” in 1997 which reached the Top 10 on the country charts. Their iconic record Wide Open Spaces was released on January 23, 1998. The title track, “There’s Your Trouble” and “You Were Mine” all reached No. 1.

3. George Strait

Although he was already a staple in country music by the ’80s, his career blossomed in this decade. He released hits like “Check Yes or No,” “If I Know Me,” and “Love Without End, Amen.”

In 1990 he was named CMA Entertainer of the Year. He went on to release nine albums in this decade, each of which were certified Platinum. In 1995, Strait released a box set that was a career retrospective, Strait Out of the Box. Overall, it sold over 8 million copies and became the second-best-selling box set.

2. Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks released his second album, No Fences, in 1990. The record spent 23 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Overall, he released nine albums in just ten years. Each record achieved at least 2x Platinum recognition in the United States and some of them reached the coveted Diamond status.

He released some of his most popular hits in this decade like, “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls,” and his cover of Billy Joel’s “Shameless.” During this decade, Garth Brooks learned how to truly entertain a larger than life audience with stadiums.

1. Shania Twain

The epitome of classic 90s country was Shania Twain. She arguably created the female country empowerment movement with her lyrics about not needing a man and not selling yourself short. On November 17, 1997, Twain became the first female artist to release a record with over 10 million (12 million) albums sold. Her record, The Woman In Me, was certified Diamond by the RIAA.

In 1993, she released her debut self-titled album. She followed it up with The Woman In Me in 1995 and subsequently Come On Over in 1997. In 1995, she got her First No. 1 with “Any Man of Mine,” which also charged on the all-genre Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Twain was not only successful in the United States, but in her home country of Canada along with Europe, Australia, and numerous other countries.