12 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Christian Country Singers

Written by Dan Farrant

Country music has a long and rich history. Many of its amazing artists have used the platform to share their faith and inspire others through their music.

From the legends of the genre to newer artists making a splash on the scene, this list of the most famous Christian country singers has something for every country music fan.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover some amazing music. Here are 12 of the greatest and most famous Christian country singers.

1. Randy Travis

Starting this list is Randy Travis, a prominent country music and gospel music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is known for his traditional country sound and deep baritone voice.

In the mid-1980s, he released his debut album, Storms of Life, which launched his career, but it was only in the 2000s that Travis began recording Christian country songs. His most successful in this genre is “Three Wooden Crosses.” He released nine albums that featured solely Christian songs.

Travis’ faith was put to the test in 2013 when he experienced a massive stroke. He was already at a critical stage following a respiratory infection. He had surgery and went through therapy.

By November of that year, he showed progress and was even going back to his music. Travis’ wife recalls that it was their faith that kept them strong during these trying times in their lives.

2. Carrie Underwood

An eight-time Grammy Award winner, Carrie Underwood isn’t shy about her faith—a faith that took root in her childhood days growing up in a Christian family in Oklahoma.

It was the same faith that shaped and influenced her music. She won the fourth American Idol season in 2005 and released the single “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” which peaked at #1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country songs.

Underwood was not an overnight success. However, she has received numerous awards and sold 70 million records as of 2019. But one thing remained: her faith.

Even in her family life, Underwood made sure to teach her boys the same values she had growing up, like going to church on Sundays and praying to God at night before bed. And for a Christian singer like her, it’s no surprise that her kids, Jacob and Isaiah, are named after great Biblical characters.

3. Gary Chapman

Another contemporary Christian singer-songwriter is Gary Chapman. When he was younger, he was encouraged to follow in the footsteps of his father, an Assemblies of God pastor.

However, Chapman was more interested in the idea of becoming an entertainer. Music was his first love, and so he played with two gospel groups, the Downings, and the Rambos.

Soon he dabbled in songwriting, the first of which was “Father’s Eyes,” featured in his wife Amy Grant’s album My Father’s Eyes. By the mid-1990s, Chapman was a recognized gospel star after releasing The Light Inside and Shelter.

On the home front, however, things were not as they seemed. Years later, Grant would reveal that it was a stormy 17-year marriage. They eventually divorced, with Chapman saying he left it all “in the center of God’s huge and tender hand.”

4. Josh Turner

Up next is Josh Turner, an accomplished country and gospel singer-songwriter and actor. A devout Christian all his life, Turner says that God’s plan for him is not to be a gospel singer but a Christian singer.

It was also this faith that led him to gospel music, starting with the album I Serve a Savior. It’s a collection of gospel standards and some original songs that Turner put a fresh spin on.

Throughout his life, Turner met roadblocks and his faith was tested, particularly during the first year of his marriage and while he was on tour, as well as some financial challenges.

These, however, only served to strengthen his faith in God. Turner always turned to God’s direction. He believed that God was asking him to trust in Him. And he did. After 20 years in the industry, he could say he lived his dreams.

5. Hillary Scott

You’ll probably recognize Hillary Scott as the lead vocalist of the country music group Lady A (Lady Antebellum). A Christian since she was young, Scott’s faith is something very important to her, further molded by family and the people around her.

Though she released albums and singles with Lady A, it was only in 2015, following the death of her grandfather, that Scott began working on a gospel album

During this trying time, Scott and her family all clung to their faith and music. To thank people who supported them, the family gifted them with demos of their favorite hymns. The demo, which originally included five songs, soon became Love Remains.

For Scott, this album is an act of “walking in obedience.” She says that God planted in her heart the desire to create the Love Remains album with her family.

The album debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Album. Its lead single, “Thy Will,” won Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

6. Susan Ashton

The 1990s witnessed the rise to fame of Susan Ashton, often credited with commercializing Christian music. Her popularity came at a time when the market for Christian music was flourishing.

Born Susan Rae Hill in Texas, Ashton began singing at seven in church choirs and talent shows. By the time she was in high school, she was a part of bands, musicals, and their church youth group. Here, she found the kind of music she wanted to pursue—contemporary country Christian music.

After signing with Sparrow Records, a major Christian recording company, Ashton would become one of the label’s best-sellers with her 1991 debut album, Wakened by the Wind, which reached #1 in the Christian charts.

Her second album, Angels of Mercy, would also continue her success, as it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Gospel Album.

7. Buddy Greene

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Buddy Greene is best known for his band Buddy’s Buddies and his work in the gospel and bluegrass genres.

After Buddy’s Buddies, he joined Jerry Reed’s band, playing the guitar and harmonica and doing background vocals. It was during this time that he converted and became a Christian. For him, it was an exciting experience, and he wrote songs about it.

Greene went solo after four years with Reed’s band and met Mark Lowry, lyricist of the Christmas carol “Mary Did You Know.” Greene wrote the music for it, and soon it became a Christmas classic that many popular artists covered throughout the years.

Over the last three decades, Greene has recorded 20 projects and received 9 Dove Awards nominations. He won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove award for Best Country Album. He is also an established harmonic maestro and has performed in notable venues such as Carnegie Hall.

8. David L. Cook

Our next Christian country music singer-songwriter is David L. Cook. He began performing at a very young age with his gospel family’s group, the Cook Family Singers. Though the group disbanded later on, he continued his pursuit of gospel and secular music.

Unfortunately, Cook has had problematic health. In 1990, he was diagnosed with psychogenic amnesia and severe dissociative disorder and, in 2009, with a neck parathyroid tumor.

Despite the challenges, he persisted, releasing four albums over the years. His second album, In the Middle of It All, earned him a Dove Award nomination. His works gained him entrance into the Hall of Fame of the Country Gospel Music Association.

9. James Kilbane

What makes Irish singer-songwriter James Kilbane different is his unique blend of traditional Irish melodies and contemporary country music.

Music had always been a part of his life. While in a school choir, he recalls a poignant moment when his faith became connected to his music. He had done a solo of “Be Not Afraid” in front of 400-500 people.

During high school, he became interested in Christian country music, claiming that these songs nurtured his spirituality. He realized later on that he wanted to sing Gospel music, as it was able to reach people.

Kilbane made his music debut in 2004 when he came in second in the Irish talent competition You’re a Star. Since then, he has released thirteen albums, including Hymns of Praise and King of the Road. Though he is a Catholic, he writes songs that fit different faiths. He also loves performing in different churches.

10. Bruce Carroll

Another renowned Christian country singer is Bruce Carroll. He started young in his music career and performed folk music at several events in Texas.

Carroll became a born-again Christian shortly before relocating to Nashville. Here, he signed with Word Records in 1979 and became a successful Christian artist.

During his career, Carroll has released ten solo albums, which won him seven Dove Awards. Two of them, The Great Exchange and Sometimes Miracles Hide are especially notable. They won Grammy Awards for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel, or Bluegrass Gospel Album.

Some of Carroll’s most famous songs include “The Great Exchange” and “Sometimes Miracles Hide.” Today, he continues to perform live and tour, using his talent to inspire audiences.

11. Glen Campbell

Guitarist and country singer-songwriter Glen Campbell released 64 albums in his lifetime. What a legend! His first big break came in 1965 when he released “Universal Soldier,” which reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Campbell went through a lot of ups and downs. His alcohol and drug addiction and being married four times weren’t exactly a secret. However, he claimed that his relationship with God was what brought him success. In an interview, he said, “It wouldn’t have happened if the good Lord had not wanted it to…”

Throughout his music career, Campbell won several Dove awards. These include the Album by a Secular Artist for No More Night and Country Album of the Year for A Glen Campbell Christmas. He also won Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for “Where Shadows Never Fall.”

12. Lauren Alaina

Next up, we have singer-songwriter hailing from Georgia, Lauren Alaina. She was a runner-up on American Idol‘s season 10 and a self-confessed Christian.

Alaina has been singing for most of her life, starting when she was three. She’d sing anywhere—churches, restaurants, you name it. She also auditioned on America’s Got Talent twice but got rejected both times.

After Idol, Alaina released her debut album, Wildflower, to success. It hit #5 on the US Billboard 200 chart and #2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums. It became the best-selling digital album by a debut country female. She also gained success from her single “What Ifs,” a duet with singer Kane Brown.

Despite the successes, Alaina remains rooted in her faith in Christ. She credits growing up in a Christian household as the foundation of her beliefs. Her faith was what carried her through the most challenging moments of her life.

Summing Up Our List Of Christian Country Singers

Country music has definitely seen the rise of Christian country singers throughout the years. They blessed us with timeless songs, many of which performed successfully on various charts.

And these singers are not ashamed to tell the world about their faith through their songs. True enough, they have found the right platform to share their faith. We can tell that based on the accolades and awards the singers received.

So there you have it, our list of Christian country singers. We hope your favorites are here and that you’ve found new artists to listen to.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.