Texas Music Artists
Deep in the heart of Texas is a rich heritage and diverse culture of Texas music artists. From the trails of cowboy ballads to the pulsating beats of urban pop and R&B sounds, Texas has been influential music for generations. A multitude of genres such as country, blues, rock, Tejano, and hip-hop, the Lone Star State has given the music world some of its greatest stars.
With the numerous of trailblazers and icons who’ve shaped the world’s music scene, get a chance to witness legends like Willie Nelson, the soul of outlaw country, or Beyoncé, the queen of modern pop and R&B. These artists, among many others, have shined on stages worldwide and became Texas legends while doing so.
Top 21 Texas Music Artists of All-Time
Beyoncé was born in Houston, Texas, before becoming an iconic figure in music. Beyoncé first rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, before embarking on a successful solo career with her 2003 debut album Dangerously in Love.
Her expansive body of work includes groundbreaking albums like B’Day, I Am… Sasha Fierce, BEYONCÉ, and Lemonade, which have earned her 28 Grammy Awards, making her the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. Beyoncé’s notable work extends beyond music into acting, business, and philanthropy, solidifying her status as a multi-talented global superstar.
Demi Lovato originally came into the spotlight after starring in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock in 2008. She released her debut album Don’t Forget that same year. Since her late 2000s debut, Lovato has scored numerous hits with songs like “Skyscraper,” “Tell Me You Love Me,” “Confident,” “Cool for the Summer,” “Heart Attack, ” “Sorry Not Sorry,” and many more.
Her career accolades include over 100 awards and nominations, alongside 8 multi-platinum and gold albums. As an artist who has been open about personal struggles, Lovato has also been instrumental in raising awareness about mental health issues and advocating for greater acceptance.
Erykah Badu comes from Dallas, Texas, known for her contribution to the neo-soul genre. Badu’s unique sound, characterized by her soulful voice, was first introduced to the world with her 1997 debut album Baduizm. The record was a true success, earning her multiple Grammy Awards including Best R&B Album.
Her following albums like Mama’s Gun and New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) continued to build on her artistry, showcasing her innovative approach to music that combines elements of R&B, jazz, and hip hop.
Esther Phillips was a singer known for her mix of blues, R&B, jazz, and pop. The Galveston native showcased a distinctively vocal style, as she began her career singing in church, before recording music as Little Esther. Phillips recorded hits in the 1950s with songs like “Release Me.”
She continued in the 1960s and 1970s, with her cover of “And I Love Him” and the Grammy-nominated “From a Whisper to a Scream.” Although her life was cut short at 48 due to health complications, Esther Phillips left behind a rich legacy.
George Strait has had a major impact on country music. Debuting in 1981 with the hit single “Unwound,” Strait has maintained a steady presence atop the charts with a record number of 60 number-one hits across various country charts.
Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the recipient of a Grammy Award for Best Country Album, Strait’s celebrated career is highlighted in albums like Pure Country and Troubadour. His consistency, longevity, and embodiment of country music’s values have earned him a revered status among peers and fans alike.
Janis Joplin soared to fame in the 1960s as she defined the music of the era. She emerged as a sensation during her time with the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. However, she achieved even greater acclaim as a solo artist with albums like I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969) and the posthumously released, multi-platinum Pearl (1971), featuring her iconic song “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Joplin’s career was tragically cut short when she died of an accidental heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. Despite her brief career, Joplin’s influence has endured, and she is remembered as one of rock music’s greatest artists.
Jessica Simpson catapulted to fame with her debut single “I Wanna Love You Forever” in 1999. Hailing from Abilene, Texas, she became a pop music sensation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, releasing her multi-platinum album Sweet Kisses and delivering other hits like “With You” and “Take My Breath Away.”
Simpson’s personal life became popular fodder for the media with her highly-publicized marriage to fellow pop star Nick Lachey, documented on the MTV reality series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Her accolades include a multi-platinum RIAA certification for her debut album and multiple awards, all while being one of the biggest pop stars of her time.
Kacey Musgraves is a country music singer-songwriter who made her debut with the album Same Trailer Different Park in 2013. She rapidly gained acclaim for her crisp vocals and vivid songwriting, with tracks like “Follow Your Arrow” pushing the boundaries of conventional country music themes.
Musgraves won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album among other honors for her work. Further cementing her place in the music world, her critically acclaimed 2018 album Golden Hour won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, showcasing her crossover appeal and ability to blend elements of country, pop, and indie music.
Kelly Clarkson came into stardom following being the winner of the first season of American Idol in 2002. Her debut single, “A Moment Like This,” skyrocketed to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Clarkson’s accolades include multiple Grammy Awards, and she is recognized for her talent this is showcased in hits like “Since U Been Gone” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”
Clarkson has also made strides in television, hosting her own Emmy Award-winning talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” and serving as a coach on the singing competition series “The Voice.”
LeAnn Rimes is an acclaimed country and pop singer who first captured the public’s attention with the 1996 classic album Blue. Following her debut in 1994 with the album All That, Rimes became a sensation during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
She is known for her crossover success with hits like “How Do I Live,” “Life Goes On,” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” Her achievements as a Texas music artist are displayed by millions of record sales, making her one of the youngest stars to ascend to such heights in country music.
Meat Loaf, out of Dallas, Texas, was a rock singer and actor whose powerful and theatrical performances made him a distinctive presence in rock. He debuted in 1977 with album Bat Out of Hell. The album was monumental success, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Meat Loaf’s unique style combined with his sheer vocal range resulted in a series of hit songs like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” which won him a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo in 1994.
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion came onto the rap scene with her mixtape Rich Ratchet in 2016 and gained mainstream attention with the release of Tina Snow in 2018, which included the hit single “Big Ole Freak.” Known for her infectious energy and Texas pride, Megan became an international sensation with the viral success of tracks like “Savage” and “WAP.”
Her debut studio album Good News arrived in 2020 to critical acclaim. Megan Thee Stallion has quickly become one of the leading voices in hip hop, as the tables are turning with female rappers being at the lead.
Miranda Lambert emerged on the country music scene through her participation in the singing competition Nashville Star in 2003. Known for her blend of country and rock, Lambert released her debut album Kerosene in 2005, which instantly became a classic.
Since then, she has multiple accolades, including Grammy Awards and a record-breaking streak of wins for Female Vocalist of the Year at the ACM Awards. Her notable works include “The House That Built Me,” “White Liar,” and more recently, “Bluebird.”
Post Malone gain great fame in music for blending various genres, including hip hop, pop, and rock. He catapulted to the top with his 2015 debut single “White Iverson,” which was a massive hit.
Malone’s albums such as Stoney (2016), Beerbongs & Bentleys (2018), and Hollywood’s Bleeding (2019), have spawned chart-topping hits like “Rockstar,” “Congratulations,” and “Circles.”
Brad Jordan, better known by his stage name Scarface, is a revered figure in the hip-hop community. Scarface gained fame in the late 1980s as a member of the Geto Boys, a group that played a significant role in putting southern hip-hop on the map.
His gritty storytelling are prevalent themes throughout his solo career, which began with his 1991 debut album Mr. Scarface Is Back. Over the years, Scarface has released several critically acclaimed albums, such as The Diary and The Fix.
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, often referred to simply as Selena, was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. She was a trailblazing Mexican-American singer whose contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century.
With her band Selena y Los Dinos, she achieved significant success with albums like Ven Conmigo (1990) and Amor Prohibido (1994). Her crossover album, Dreaming of You (1995), was released posthumously and became a hit. Sadly, Selena’s life was tragically cut short, but her legacy lives on and she remains an icon in the Latino community.
Selena Gomez transitioned from a child star on the Disney Channel series “Wizards of Waverly Place” to a pop music sensation and influential cultural figure. With her debut as a solo artist in 2013, Gomez released the chart-topping album Stars Dance, which included the hit “Come & Get It.”
Alongside hit tracks like “Good for You” and “Lose You to Love Me,” she has received numerous awards and nominations, highlighting her as a mainstay in the pop music scene.
Tevin Campbell is a singer and songwriter from Waxahachie, Texas, renowned for his soulful voice and R&B hits during the 1990s. He stepped into the spotlight with his 1991 debut single, “Round and Round,” penned by Prince, and quickly became a teenage sensation.
Campbell’s debut album T.E.V.I.N. (1991), followed by I’m Ready (1993), spawned several hits including “Tell Me What You Want Me to Do” and “Can We Talk,” cementing his place as a R&B heartthrob.
Renowned for his highly energetic and auto-tuned melodies, Travis Scott burst onto the scene with his critically acclaimed mixtape Owl Pharaoh in 2013 and followed it up with his debut studio album Rodeo in 2015, featuring the hit single “Antidote.”
Scott’s musical style is marked by its innovative production. His third album, Astroworld, released in 2018, included the smash hit “Sicko Mode.” Overall, Scott has become a cultural icon from his present in multiple facets of the entertainment world.
UGK, short for Underground Kingz, was an influential hip-hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas, consisting of rappers Pimp C (Chad Butler) and Bun B (Bernard Freeman). Formed in 1987, the duo played a foundational role in shaping the Southern rap sound. UGK made their major-label debut with 1992’s Too Hard to Swallow and broke into the mainstream with their appearance on Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin'” in 1999.
Their third studio album, Ridin’ Dirty (1996), is considered a classic in the hip-hop genre and solidified their legacy. UGK’s pioneering blend of gritty storytelling and soulful production has earned them much respect within the hip-hop community.
The legend Willie Nelson is a celebrated musician, actor, and activist, but also known for his contributions to country music. While debuting in 1962 with the album …And Then I Wrote, Nelson’s career took off with the success of his 18th album Red Headed Stranger in 1975 and followed by his 22nd album Stardust in 1978.
Throughout his multi-decade career, he has earned multiple awards, including several Grammy Awards. Known for his laid-back music style and the classic hits such as “On the Road Again” and “Always On My Mind,” Nelson is the pioneer of “Outlaw Country Music.”
Yolanda Adams is a R&B and gospel singer, record producer, actress, and radio host that is originally from Houston, Texas. Her career took off with the release of her 1987 debut album Just As I Am, and she became widely known with her 1999 breakthrough album Mountain High… Valley Low, which included the hit “Open My Heart.”
Adams’s powerful vocals and inspirational messages have made her one of the leading artists in contemporary gospel music, earning her multiple Grammy Awards.
ZZ Top is a rock band that was founded in 1969, featuring the trio of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard. The band’s blues-rock sound is witnessed in hits like “La Grange,” “Tush,” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”
ZZ Top gained significant recognition in the 1980s for their synthesis of blues, hard rock, and new wave music, coupled with their iconic beards and distinctive music videos. With induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and several gold and platinum albums to their name, ZZ Top’s influence on rock music has been profound.