20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results


1. Tanya Tucker, While I’m Livin’ (Fantasy)

2. The Highwomen, The Highwomen (Elektra/Low Country Sound)

3. Miranda Lambert, Wildcard (RCA/Vanner)

4. Tyler Childers, Country Squire (RCA/Hickman Holler)

5. Yola, Walk Through Fire (Easy Eye Sound)

6. Maren Morris, Girl (Columbia Nashville)

7. Jon Pardi, Heartache Medication (Capitol Records Nashville/Snakefarm)

8. Kelsey Waldon, White Noise / White Lines (Oh Boy)

9. Reba McEntire, Stronger Than the Truth (Big Machine)

10. Vince Gill, Okie (MCA Nashville)

11. Mike and the Moonpies, Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold (Prairie Rose)

12. Erin Enderlin, Faulkner County (Blaster)

13. Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get (Columbia Nashville)

14. Allison Moorer, Blood (Autotelic)

15. Kalie Shorr, Open Book (self-released)

16. Midland, Let It Roll (Big Machine)

17. Our Native Daughters, Songs From Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways)

18. Willie Nelson, Ride Me Back Home (Legacy)

19. Hayes Carll, What It Is (Dualtone)

20. Ian Noe, Between the Country (National Treasury)

21. Rodney Crowell, Texas (RC1)

22. The Mavericks, The Mavericks Play the Hits (Mono Mundo)

23. Chris Knight, Almost Daylight (Thirty Tigers/Drifter’s Church)

24. Randy Houser, Magnolia (BBR/BMG/Stoney Creek)

25. Buddy and Julie Miller, Breakdown on 20th Avenue South (New West)

26. Sturgill Simpson, Sound & Fury (Elektra)

27. Runaway June, Blue Roses (Wheelhouse)

28. Justin Townes Earle, The Saint of Lost Causes (New West)

29. Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, There Is No Other (Nonesuch)

30. George Strait, Honky Tonk Time Machine (MCA Nashville)


1. Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)” (Columbia)

2. Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” (Warner Music Nashville)

3. Tanya Tucker, “Bring My Flowers Now” (Fantasy)

4. Miranda Lambert, “It All Comes Out in the Wash” (RCA/Vanner)

5. Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (Columbia Nashville)

6. Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow” (MCA Nashville)

7. Little Big Town, “The Daughters” (Capitol Records Nashville)

8. Maren Morris, “Girl” (Columbia Nashville)

9. Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird” (RCA/Vanner)

10. Maren Morris, “The Bones” (Columbia Nashville)

11. Yola, “Faraway Look” (Easy Eye Sound)

12. The Highwomen, “Redesigning Women” (Elektra Records/Low Country Sound)

13. Eric Church, “Some of It” (EMI Records Nashville)

14. Midland, “Mr. Lonely” (Big Machine)

15. Blake Shelton, “God’s Country” (Warner Music Nashville)

16. Ingrid Andress, “More Hearts Than Mine” (Warner Music Nashville)

17. Runaway June, “Buy My Own Drinks” (Wheelhouse)

18. Luke Combs, “Even Though I’m Leaving” (Columbia Nashville)

19. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” (Capitol Records Nashville/Snakefarm)

20. Tyler Childers: “All Your’n” (RCA/Hickman Holler)

21. The Highwomen: “Highwomen” (Elektra/Low Country Sound)

22. Ashley McBryde, “Girl Going Nowhere” (Warner Music Nashville)

23. Hailey Whitters, “Ten Year Town” (self-released)

24. Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” (Big Machine)

25. The Highwomen, “Crowded Table” (Elektra/Low Country Sound) 

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results


1. Various Artists, The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of the West 1940-1974 (Bear Family)

2. Bob Dylan feat. Johnny Cash, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15: Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969 (Columbia/Legacy)

3. Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (Concord)

4. Gene Clark, No Other (Deluxe Edition) (4AD)

5. Various Artists, Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns — The Soundtrack (Legacy)

6. Hank Williams, The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings (BMG/Omnivore)

7. Reggie Young, Session Guitar Star (Ace)

8. Glen Campbell, The Legacy (1961-2017) (Capitol Nashville)

9. Elvis Presley, Live 1969 (RCA/Legacy)

10. Various Artists, Protobilly: The Minstrel and Tin Pan Alley DNA of Country Music 1892-2017 (JSP)

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results

Luke Combs

Male Vocalists

1. Luke Combs

2. Tyler Childers

3. Chris Stapleton

4. Eric Church

5. Vince Gill

6. Raul Malo

7. Jon Pardi

8. Willie Nelson

9. Randy Houser

10. Keith Urban

Female Vocalists

1. Miranda Lambert 

2. Tanya Tucker

3. Maren Morris

4. Yola

5. Brandi Carlile

6. Kacey Musgraves

7. Carrie Underwood

8. Reba McEntire

9. Ashley McBryde

10. Allison Moorer

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results

Eric Church

Live Acts

1. Eric Church

2. Carrie Underwood

3. Miranda Lambert 

4. Kacey Musgraves

5. Jason Isbell

6. Chris Stapleton

7. Maren Morris

8. The Highwomen 

9.(tie) Brandi Carlile

9.(tie) Tyler Childers

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results

Brandi Carlile


1. Brandi Carlile

2. Miranda Lambert 

3. Natalie Hemby

4. Tyler Childers

5. Erin Enderlin

6. Lori McKenna

7. Maren Morris

8. Shane McAnally

9. Vince Gill

10. Hillary Lindsey

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results

The Highwomen

Duos and Groups

1. The Highwomen

2. Midland

3. Little Big Town

4. Mike and the Moonpies

5. Brothers Osborne

6. Our Native Daughters

7. Runaway June

8. Mavericks 

9. Maddie & Tae

10. Pistol Annies

New Acts

1. Yola 

2. The Highwomen

3. Ian Noe

4. Lil Nas X

5. Kelsey Waldon

6.(tie) Runaway June

6.(tie) Kalie Shorr

6. (tie) Tenille Townes

9. Ingrid Andress

10. Lauren Jenkins

20th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The Results

Miranda Lambert

Artists of the Year

1. Miranda Lambert

2. The Highwomen

3. Tyler Childers

4. Tanya Tucker

5. Eric Church

6. Luke Combs

7. Brandi Carlile

8. Carrie Underwood

9. Maren Morris

10. Kacey Musgraves

This year’s voters:

Don Allred, Michael Berick, Jonathan Bernstein, Jim Bessman, Bliss Bowen, Jessica Bray, Jon Bream, Grant Britt, Jeff Burger, David Cantwell, Henry Carrigan, Jim Casey, Rachel Cholst, Justin Cober-Lake, Kyle “Trigger” Coroneos, Thierry Côté, Kevin John Coyne, Steve Crawford, Dan DeLuca, Kerry Dexter, Daniel Durchholz, Steacy Easton, Chuck Eddy, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Dan Ferguson, Bill Frater, Holly George-Warren, Dave Gil de Rubio, Holly Gleason, Gary Graff, Kristin Hall, Jake Harris, Dave Heaton, Stuart Henderson, Will Hermes, Jewly Hight, Geoffrey Himes, Lorie Hollabaugh, Cillea Houghton, Charles L. Hughes, Josh Hurst, Josh Jackson, Ellen Johnson, Hunter Kelly, Zachary Kephart, Nancy Kruh, Tom Lane, Alan Light, Dan Macintosh, Jim Macnie, Jim Malec, Lynne Margolis, Barry Mazor, Michael McCall, Kelly McCartney, Danny McCloskey, Brittney McKenna, Kendra Meinert, Mike Ethan Messick, Markus Meyer, Rick Mitchell, Bobby Moore, Ken Morton Jr., Stuart Munro, Chris Parton, Randy Patterson, George A. Paul, Amos Perrine, Sarah Rodman, Angela Stefano, Bruce Sylvester, Rob Tannenbaum, Steve Terrell, Ken Tucker, Chris Willman, L. Kent Wolgamott, Mikael Wood, Ron Wynn, Lee Zimmerman

Our voters wrote for the following outlets in 2019:

1870, ABC News, Adobe & Teardrops, AllMusic/Rovi, Alternate Root, Americana Boogie, Americana Highways, American Noise, American Songwriter, The Aspen Times, Associated Press, Atlantic City Weekly, Audiofemme, Best Classic Bands, The Big Takeover, Billboard, The Bitter Southerner, Blogcritics, The Bluegrass Situation, Bluegrass Today, Blues Music Magazine, Boomerocity, The Boot, The Boston Globe, California Rocker, The Call (Woonsocket, R.I.), The Cape Cod Times, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Classic Rock, CMA Close Up, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Country Queer, Country Standard Time, Country Universe, The Daily Times (Maryville, Tenn.), Detroit Free Press, Digital First Media, Downbeat, The East Nashvillian, The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, Erie Reader, Everything Underground, Exclaim!, Fifty Grande, Flood, Folk Alley, Fresh Air, Gimme Country, Goldmine, Grammy.com, The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Hits, Huffington Post, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.), In Review Online, Jazz Times, KBOO-FM (Portland, Ore.), KCET-TV (Los Angeles), Kentucky Country Music, The Last Word, Lincoln Journal Star, Living Blues, LoneStarMusic, Long Island Weekly, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), Music Aficionado, Musical Divide, Musical Shapes, Music Blog, Music Road, MusicRow, Nash Country Daily, Nashville Arts and Entertainment Guide, Nashville Lifestyles, Nashville Scene, Nashville Sound, National Public Radio, Native, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The New York Times, No Depression, Orange County Register, Ovation, Oxford American, The Paris Review, Pasadena Weekly, Paste, People, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pitchfork, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), Pollstar, Popmatters, The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.), The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.), The Press-Telegram (Long Beach, Calif.), Publishers Weekly, Relix, Rhapsody, Rock and Roll Globe, Rock NYC, Rolling Stone, Roughstock, The Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salt Lake City Weekly, The San Bernardino Sun, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Saving Country Music, Shotgun Seat, Sirius XM, Sounds Like Nashville, Southern Rhode Island Newspapers, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Spectrum Culture, Spin, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.), Stereogum, Strings, Taste of Country, Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society, The Tennessee Tribune, Third Bridge, This Is Country Music, Tidal, Time, The Times (Pawtucket, R.I.), Ultimate Classic Rock, Uproxx, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Variety, Vevo, Vineyard Gazette, The Virginian-Pilot, Vulture, The Wall Street Journal, Wandering Educators, The Washington Post, Wide Open Country, WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth), WFKY-FM (Frankfort, Ky.), WHQG-FM (Milwaukee)

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