North Carolina’s Top 5 Favorite Country Singers
North Carolina residents proudly embrace their love for country music, hosting two of the most important country music festivals in America, Wilkesboro’s “MerleFest” and Mill Spring’s “Night in the Country: Carolinas.”
The diverse preferences of the genre span from alternative, bluegrass, pop, rock and to the distinctive Nashville sound inside the Tar Heel State, as proven by the list of top artists that North Carolinians listen to.
BetCarolina.com, your top resource ahead of the mobile and online launch of NC sports betting, utilized Billboard.com’s 2022 Top Country Artists on the year-end charts to develop a list of the Top 50 country music artists. Once obtaining the list, we utilized Google Trends to find the most popular country music artists in the state of North Carolina over the past 12 months (June 2022-June 2023).
Morgan Wallen, Billboard’s 2022 Top Selling Country Music Artist for the second consecutive year, dominates the following list with an impressive lead, which is then followed by artists that compete with closer margins.
North Carolina’s own, Luke Combs, who has successfully been crowned Billboard’s Top Country Artist in 2019 and 2020, is a runner-up to Wallen on this list. Coincidentally, he is also second behind Wallen on Billboard’s rankings in 2021 and 2022.
It is no surprise that Wallen and Combs have been the genre’s most popular artists over recent years, but who else enters this list as a fan favorite for North Carolina residents?
North Carolina’s Favorite Country Singers
Tar Heel State's Most Preferred Country Music Artists
Morgan Wallen’s unstoppable run as the genre’s best-selling artist has spanned over two years topping Billboard’s list in 2021 and 2022. His biggest hits, “Dangerous: The Double Album” and “One Thing At A Time,” released in 2021 and 2023, have generated over 10 million album-equivalent units and spent most of their time at the number one spot on the charts in their respective years.
Wallen’s style focuses on country-pop, which is the genre’s most popular sound and it is no surprise that it pushes the artist to not only be the most-listened-to country musician in America, but also in North Carolina.
Luke Combs has been Wallen’s closest competitor over the last four years, swapping first and second places on Billboard’s Top Country Lists. The Charlotte native produced his best years in 2019 and 2020, highlighted by his 2019 release “What You See Is What You Get,” which sold over three million copies and propelled him into superstardom. He is second in fan-favorite for North Carolina residents.
The rest of the list is followed by former Navy man Zach Bryan and then three artists tied in fourth, which are Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, and Lainey Wilson. Bryan and Stapleton also join Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs in the top five of Billboard’s top country music artists, however, Childers and Wilson fall drastically on that list.
Childers is 24th and Wilson is 48th. Why the discrepancy? Childers' fifth and most recent album, "Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?" didn't quite do the sales of his most popular effort, 2017's "Purgatory." Meanwhile, Wilson has professed to other interests, including, but not limited to country music. She joined the cast of the popular "Yellowstone" last year.
But for North Carolina residents, Childers and Wilson are No. 4 and 5 in their hearts, respectively.
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