10 Black Women In Country Music To Watch Out For

Black women have advanced the genre with their songwriting prowess and progressive musicality.

Country music has always been Black music. Black people have been at the center of the genre since the 1920s when Black musicians played banjos, a derivative of West African lutes made from gourds. Through the years, musicians such as Ray Charles, Charlie Pride, The Pointer Sisters, Linda Martell, and many more.

Fast-forward to 2024, and Black artists are now in the minority of a genre that they helped create. According to Country Town, only six Black female country artists have ever charted in the US. Also, only 5% of airplay goes to Black artists.

Thankfully, a new wave of Black artists has expanded the genre, and Black women are leading the charge. They are ready to leave an indelible mark on country music with their Blackness and femininity.

To bring you up to speed on what’s happening in the genre, here are 8 Black Women In Country Music To Watch Out For.

1. Beyoncé

As one of the biggest artists of all time, Beyoncé has caused legions of people to pay attention to what's already been happening in country music. The 32-time Grammy Award winner made history with “Texas Hold ‘Em” which landed at the one spot on the Billboard 100 chart making her the first Black woman to have a country song to top the Hot 100. At the same time, “16 Carriages” peaked at number 38 on the chart. The song became Beyoncé’s ninth number-one hit and her first since “Break My Soul” topped the chart in 2022. With her highly-anticipated country-influenced album “Cowboy Carter” set to be released on Friday, March 29, “Queen Bey” is set to bring her brand of country music to a worldwide audience.

2. Mickey Guyton

Defying the odds to become a star in country music, Mickey Guyton is a force to be reckoned with. Raised in Texas, Guyton blends her love of R&B and pop in her brand of country music. After relocating to Nashville, Tennessee in 2011, Guyton signed a recording contract with Capitol Records Nashville. Her debut EP, “Unbreakable,” was released in 2015 featuring her hit song "Better Than You Left Me” which reached number 34 on the US Country Airplay chart. She released her self-titled EP later that year. In 2020, she released "Black Like Me" in response to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The song helped further elevate Guyton's career and resulted in her first-ever nomination at the Grammy Awards. She was the first Black woman ever to be nominated in the Best Country Solo Performance category.

Mickey Guyton, attending the 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Mar. 17, 2021.

Women's History Month: Mickey Guyton Continues To Break Down Barriers In Country Music

3. Tanner Adell

Tanner Adell was destined for the world of country music. She grew up attending demolition derbies and her mother was a rodeo queen. The formally trained pianist and singer/songwriter entered Utah Valley University’s commercial music program and moved to Nashville in 2021 to follow her dream of becoming a country music artist. Eventually, she signed with Columbia Records. In 2023, she released her debut project “Buckle Bunny, " showcasing her innovative musicality. With enormous range and potential, Tanner Adell is set to  make major waves in country music for years to come

Meet The New Queen of Glam Country, Tanner Adell

4. Miko Marks

Miko Marks has been a major player in country music for nearly two decades. A native of Flint, Michigan, she attended Grambling State University before moving to San Francisco. After releasing her debut project, “Freeway Bound” where she was named Best New Country Artist at the 2006 New Music Weekly Awards. Since that time, she has released several projects, including “It Feels Good,” “Our Country,” and “Feel Like Going Home.”  In October 2022, Marks performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, receiving two standing ovations. Her newest song, “One More Night,” features Tré Burt and proves her artistry is still on the cutting edge and always doing it her way.

5. Amythyst Kiah

Combining country with the blues, Amythyst Kiah has been a major player in the genre since her arrival on the scene. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the self-described “Southern Gothic’ musician is proficient on the guitar and banjo and she’s a graduate of  East Tennessee State University where she graduated from the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies program and was a member of the school's marquee old-time band. After launching her solo career, Kiah released her first album, Dig, in 2013. She went on to release Chest Of Glass” (2017), “Wary + Strange” (2021), and Pensive Pop (2022). After years of being in the game, Kiah made her debut performance at the Old Opry in 2021. Without question, Kiah will continue to represent the queer community in the country world for years to come with her soulful music.

6. Brittney Spencer

An accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter, Brittney Spencer is one of the genre’s rising stars. Raised in the  African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the Maryland native moved to Nashville, Tennessee to become a full-time country musician in 2013. As a background singer and toured with Christopher Cross and Carrie Underwood. In 2021, she gave a stirring performance of  "Love My Hair" with Mickey Guyton and Madeline Edwards at the 55th Annual Country Music Association Awards. After almost a decade of putting work on the country circuit, Spencer signed a major label recording contract with Elektra Records, who released her debut EP “If I Ever Get There: A Day at Blackbyrd Studio.”  In 2024, Spencer released her long-awaited LP “My Stupid Life” featuring the hit “I Got Time” to critical acclaim.

7. Camille Parker

A native of  Durham, North Carolina, Camille Parker is one of the new faces on the country music landscape and her talent is undeniable. Introduced to the country as a child, she grew up listening to Charlie Pride, The Pointer Sisters, and Linda Martel. Launching her solo career, she was named as an inaugural member of Rissi Palmer’s “Color Me Country” Class of 2021, Her debut single, "The Flame," has amassed more than 2 million streams and landed in the top 10 in 17 countries on Apple Music Country Charts. Parker released her debut EP “After the Whiskey Pt. I'' which was described as a "delightfully refreshing approach to Pop Country." In February, she released her latest single “Spinning Out”, further showing her musical prowess and her bright future in country music.

9. Madeline Edwards

Born in California but raised in Texas, Madeline Edwards incorporates jazz, soul, and gospel for her unique country sound that she has cultivated since she was four. A gifted pianist and singer/songwriter, she counts greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban as her major influences. In 2021, she made her television debut at the 2021 CMA Award and debuted at  Grand Ole Opry in 2022. The same year, she dropped her debut “Crashlanded.” In 2023, she released a collection of Christmas songs, including  “Perfect Christmas,” “Celebrate Me Home,” and “Me Missing You". In 2024, expect Madeline Edwards to keep raising the bar and pushing the boundaries of country music.

9. Tiera Kennedy 

A native of Alabama, Tiera Kennedy is one of the most promising talents to emerge in country music. With her “R&B country” sound, Kennedy has been featured on Spotify’s Hot Country, Teen Vogue, CMT, Sounds Like Nashville, Nashville Lifestyles, and Country Now as an Artist to Watch in 2021. In 2021, she released Tiera, featuring "Found It in You," a romantic tune dedicated to her husband, Kamren Kennedy. In 2022, she released  "Blue Christmas" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas” to bring some of that Holiday cheer to the season. In July 2023, Kennedy released "Jesus, My Mama, My Therapist,” and she is also the host of Apple Music Country’s “The Tiera Show.”

10. Chapel Hart

Hailing from Poplarville, Mississippi, Chapel Hart is one of the few Black groups in country music. The trio comprises sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle, and the group has independently released three studio albums, eleven singles, and counting. In 2021, Chapel Hart was inducted into “CMT’s Next Women of Country'', a renowned institution that's known to catapult the careers of up-and-coming female country artists. They competed in the seventeenth season of “America's Got Talent,” where they finished fifth in 2022. Their latest single “2033, is a display of the soulful country sound they have become known for In 2024, make sure to have Chapel Heart on your radar.

#Unboxed Vol. 9: Chapel Hart Is Mississippi Through and Through While Breaking Boundaries

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