4 Underrated Country Singers From the Early 2000s

The early 2000s was a great time for country music. Pop crossovers and traditional country revivals were big during this era and birthed the likes of Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and many more. But what about the underrated country singers that peaked in the early 2000s? Let’s take a look at four examples who deserve some recognition!

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It’s worth noting that most of these artists made music before and after the early aughts. We’re not pigeonholing anyone into a single decade.

1. Joe Nichols

The early 2000s was big for country pop, as well as several other genre crossovers with country. Part of what made Joe Nichols so refreshing is that he stuck to his traditional country music roots.

Unfortunately, even with hits like “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Sunny And 75”, Nichols struggled to maintain his radio presence after the early aughts wrapped up.

[See Joe Nichols Live In 2024]

2. Chely Wright

Now this is a severely underrated country singer from the early 2000s. The song “Single White Female” played absolutely everywhere in the early 2000s. Wright was on an upward trajectory in country music with the potential to move to mainstream pop. 

Unfortunately, Wright faced backlash after coming out as gay in 2010. In a mostly conservative industry, Wright struggled to continue her upward success. Someone give this woman her flowers!

3. Tracy Byrd

Tracy Byrd contributed quite a bit to the country music scene in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was a master of blending a traditional country sound with modern, relatable lyrics and storytelling. As the country music scene shifted more towards pop, Byrd didn’t find much success and took a hiatus from making music in 2009.

4. Terri Clark

“Better Things To Do” and “Girls Lie Too” were killer songs from singer Terri Clark. Her honky-tonk traditional style and powerful vocals made her stand out in an overcrowded country music scene. She’s had a few #1 hits and platinum albums, too. So, why is it that so few country music fans today recognize her name? 

One could blame it on the fact that she’s Canadian and was often overshadowed by American artists in the US music market. Who knows? She still deserves some respect for her contributions!

Photo by David Doc Abbott

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