Data Won’t Lie: These Are the Most Popular ’80s Country Artists
Think George Strait is the most popular country artist of the 1980s? Think again.
The King of Country may have more No. 1 hits than any other singer in country music ever, but he's not even inside the Top 3 if you focus on the '80s. It was a decade that started with the outlaws fading and urban cowboy music rising. Neo-traditionalists began to dominate about halfway through, and that's the key. Strait, Randy Travis and many more didn't really top the charts with consistency until halfway through the decade.
The above video looks at every song that reached No. 1 between 1980 and 1989 and sorts the total number of weeks on the top, by artist. Who spent the most time at the top of the charts? It'd have easily been Ronnie Milsap if we'd stretched the boundaries to include the late '70s, but within this 10-year window, the Hall of Famer finishes second.
This list is based on reported country airplay charts at Billboard. Sales figures are not included in this data. Duets and multi-artist collaborations count for all artists involved. For example, when Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton reached No. 1 with "Islands in the Stream," they both scooted up one point on this bar chart. When the Highwaymen scored a No. 1 for "Highwayman," that went to Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, as well.
Watch, subscribe and enjoy a playlist of 50 great country songs from the 1980s below. And if you're wondering who scored the spent the most weeks at No. 1 in the '90s, stay tuned.
Check Out a Playlist of the Best '80s Country Songs:
This video was made with the Flourish app.
These Are the 50 Most Essential 80s Songs: