When someone thinks of country music, their first thought might be the southern region of the United States. Perhaps, if they are more familiar with the genre, they may think of the midwest. Rarely, though, do people associate Canada with country music.
The truth is that in addition to hockey and maple trees, Canada is also home to many infamous country music artists. These singers have produced well-known music and have even won awards in the country genre.
And in this post, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the greatest and most famous Canadian country singers of all time. Let’s get started.
1. Shania Twain
First, we have one of the greatest, Shania Twain was born Eilleen Regina Edwards in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Her family struggled financially, but her mother made it a point to help Shania pursue music. Since Shania was a little girl, she always knew she would have a musical career.
After her parents died, she began singing at a show in Ontario to make ends meet. From here, her career skyrocketed. In 1993, she released Shania Twain, followed by The Woman in Me.
It wasn’t long before her hit singles, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” were charting.
Shania Twain is now an international country music star and television personality, but her roots will always be in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
2. Paul Brandt
In 1996, Paul Brandt’s first album, Calm Before the Storm, sold over one million copies across the world. He was also the first-ever male Canadian country artist to reach the top of the charts with his songs “I Do” and “My Heart has a History.”
But, these milestones were just the beginning for the singer. He would soon become the most highly-awarded male Canadian country singer ever.
And where did this Canadian gem get his start? None other than Calgary, Canada–A city otherwise known as “Cowtown.”
Country artists can thank Paul for his contributions to the industry, but humanity can thank him for so much more. The Canadian is a well-known philanthropist who uses his platform to raise awareness and money for great causes.
3. Morna Anne Murray
1945 saw the birth of Canadian country music icon Morna Anne Murray. The artist was the first female Canadian singer to reach number one in the United States for her single, “Snowbird.”
She later received an award for the best album of the year at the Country Music Awards, making her the first woman to receive this recognition.
Naturally, she paved the way for future iconic women in the industry, including Shania Twain.
Some of this record-breaking country singer’s most famous songs include “All of Me” and “Country Jenny.” Hits like these landed the Springhill native in several halls of fame.
4. Terri Clark
International country music icon Terri Clark was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. However, hits like “Girls Lie Too” and “Better Things to Do” gave the female Canadian country artist a global platform.
With a spot in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, it would be wrong not to include Terri Clark amongst the most famous Canadian country singers. She has sold over 5 million records in her career, giving her a loyal fanbase across the world.
Even with 19 Canadian Country Music Awards under her belt, she continues to prove her talent by touring in different countries every year.
5. George Canyon
Another country singer George Canyon hails from Fox Brook, Nova Scotia, but he moved to Calgary as his career began to take off. He rose to fame in 2004 as a contestant on the second season of Nashville Star.
Canyon was the pinnacle of Canadian country music success in the early 2000s. He charmed his audience with his charisma and then kept them hooked with hit songs like “Just Like You” and “Daughters of the Sun.”
Since his debut album, One Good Friend, he has charted multiple times. He has even collaborated with other amazing artists like Kenny Rogers to reach the top of the international charts.
6. Stompin’ Tom Connors
Next on the list is none other than Stompin’ Tom Connors. This New Brunswick-born artist was known for nothing if not his versatility. Before his music career took off, he worked as a grave digger, a fisherman, a tobacco picker, and a slew of other odd jobs.
Luckily for country music fans everywhere, Tom Connors decided to release his first album in 1967. The Canadian country singer was special because so many of his songs are Canada-centric. For example, most Canadian music lovers are familiar with songs like “C-A-N-A-D-A,” “The Hockey Song,” and “Sudbury Saturday Night.”
He was known for his simple style yet heartfelt patriotism. Unfortunately, he passed away in his Ontario home in 2013 due to natural causes. His music lives on in the hearts of Canadians.
7. Dean Brody
As the recipient of 16 Canadian Country Music Awards, Dean Brody deserves a seat at the table. The artist was born in 1975 in Jaffray, British Columbia, Canada.
Even during his work at a sawmill, Brody always found himself turning to music to escape. He always kept his guitar close by. He released his debut album in 2009. Dean Brody hit Billboard’s top country albums charts.
His career soared from there. He was able to tour several countries with other Canadian country artists, singing songs from his hit albums like Gypsy Road and Black Sheep. He is now one of the top-selling Canadian country musicians in the world.
8. Emerson Drive
Danick Dupelle, Dale Wallace, Mike Melancon, and Brad Mates make up the Canadian country band Emerson Drive. They have been making music since 2001, with loyal fans across the world following their every move.
Former member Patrick Bourque tragically passed away due to suicide. The death came shortly after the release of their hit song Moments, giving the tune a profound meaning for both the band and their fans. Afterward, Emerson Drive found themselves enlivened with the mission to keep changing people’s lives with their music.
They have won Country Music Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and more. Anyone who has been to one of their 4,000+ shows can attest to their remarkable talent.
9. K.D. Lang
k.d. Lang is a country-rock and folk singer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her music has a very alternative feel to it, setting her apart from other Canadian country artists.
Her first release in 1984, “A Truly Western Experience,” gave way to a soaring career. She went on to win the Grammy for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance” with her song, “Absolute Torch and Twang.”
The Edmonton native is renowned amongst other Canadian country artists, especially for her unique songwriting style. Her music has even served as the backtrack for several films, including Salmonberries.
10. Hank Snow
Not many people know that Country Music Hall of Famer, Hank Snow, is Canadian. He was born in Brooklyn, Canada.
Snow did not have the easiest childhood. He was a victim of child abuse and later found himself living on the streets after his stepfather kicked him out at age 12. Music was a huge comfort for the artist as he grew up.
Luckily for his listeners, he managed to make an incredibly successful career out of it. His music inspires people, just as it did for him as a child. He has had 85 singles climb to the top of the Billboard charts.
11. Lindsay Ell
Lindsay Ell is a fairly new voice on the Canadian country music scene, but she has already begun to cement her legacy. Her newest album, Heart Theory, prompts listeners to think a little deeper about music.
In 2017, Billboard named her album The Project the “Best Country Album” of that year. This recognition opened up so many opportunities for the young singer-songwriter. She has been able to tour the world with legends like Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.
No matter where the rest of her career takes her, Lindsay Ell will always keep her hometown of Calgary, Canada, in her heart.
12. Tenille Townes
Tenille Townes is a country artist from Grande Prairie, Canada. Her music is lovely, but her knack for storytelling in her songs sets her apart from other artists.
She has been in the public eye since she was 15 years old. At this time, she released her first single, “Home Now.” Her potential was obvious to her fans from the start. She was able to move to Nashville to pursue country music professionally.
In 2018, her single “Somebody’s Daughter” climbed to the top of the Canadian country music charts. Her career is only going up from here as she continues to gain international acclaim.
13. William Prince
William Prince is a singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian country artist tells listeners his story through his music.
In 2017, he won a JUNO award for his music, allowing him to appear on television and perform at critically acclaimed international music festivals.
His albums Gospel First Nation, Reliever, and Earthly Days prove the level of talent that Canadian artists bring to the country music world.
Summing Up Our List Of Canadian Country Singers
Canada has produced some incredible country music, and fans of the genre have these artists to thank.
The country may not be as well-known for the genre as Southern parts of the United States, but the emblematic singers hailing from Canada show just how much talent the Great White North holds.
But, this list is far from complete. Who did we miss off? Let us know and we’ll add them in!