“Billboard” Names Merle Haggard Greatest Country Artist of the Modern Era

Capitol Records

Merle Haggard is the Greatest Country Artist of the Modern Era, according to Billboard’s new Greatest of All Time ranking. The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, comes in second, with Willie Nelson and Hank Williams checking in at third and fourth, respectively. Dolly Parton is the highest-ranking female on the list at number five, finishing just ahead of George Jones at number 6.

George Strait occupies the #8 spot, finishing just ahead of Loretta Lynn at #9 and Garth Brooks at #10. Other highlights of the list include Reba at 12, in front of Kenny Chesney at 13. Even though she’s currently focusing on her foray into pop music, Taylor Swift still makes the tally at number 18, just ahead of Tammy Wynette at 19. Even though she died in 1963, Patsy Cline still comes in at number 20.

You can check out the full list, as well as more Greatest of All Time rankings, in Billboard’s “Greatest Chart All-Stars” issue, on newsstands now.

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