The Six Most Underrated Country Music Artists Of All-Time, According To ChatGPT

John Prine Kasey Musgraves country music
John Prine/Kasey Musgraves

The genre of country music has long held a dichotomy of love for artists.

On one hand, fans absolutely love the megastars.

Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, George Strait; there’s just something special about artists bursting out of the country bubble and becoming full fledged rockstars, selling out venues around the country and having their music climb the all-genre charts.

But there’s also forever been a reverence of sorts for artists who are under the mainstream radar, but developed a cult-like following for both their music and dedication to their craft despite the underappreciation. Think Zach Bryan before American Heartbreak. 

Of course, what exactly qualifies as as being “underrated” varies wildly from person to person.

One look at our tweet asking fans this exact question late last year brought in answers that ranged from 49 Winchester and Charles Wesley Godwin (full agreement from me) to Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan (I’d say they’re pretty dang popular) to Taylor Swift (neither country nor underrated; unsure what that person was smoking).

So in these modern, technologically advanced times, who can we go to for a logical opinion?

Insert ChatGPT.

Okay, before anyone gets mad, I understand that ChatGPT is far from an unbiased source, but it is pretty interesting to hear what AI has to say about country music and see how it differs from the general (human) public.

Here’s what it had to say.

I first asked simply “Who is the most underrated country artist of all time?” and it gave a pretty dang good answer.

John Prine

Known for his poignant songwriting and storytelling abilities, John Prine had a profound impact on country and folk music. His songs, such as “Angel from Montgomery” and “Hello in There,” showcased his unique perspective and poetic lyricism. Despite critical acclaim, Prine’s commercial success didn’t match the extent of his talent and influence.”

Hard to argue with that one.

John is consistently among the artists most cited by today’s acts as a major songwriting influence, so it seems ChatGPT has its (metaphorical) finger on the pulse with that one.

I then asked for other underrated country artists and it gave 5 more along with its reasons for choosing them.

Sturgill Simpson

Known for his blending of traditional country with rock and psychedelic influences, Sturgill Simpson has garnered critical acclaim for his albums such as “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” and “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.” However, his music remains somewhat outside the mainstream country music industry.

Brandi Carlile

While not exclusively a country artist, Brandi Carlile’s music often incorporates elements of country and folk. Her powerful vocals and emotionally charged songwriting have earned her a dedicated fan base and critical praise, but she may not be as widely recognized as some of her peers.

Kacey Musgraves

Although Kacey Musgraves has achieved significant success in recent years, winning Grammy Awards and critical acclaim, some still consider her relatively underrated compared to her immense talent. Musgraves’ unique blend of traditional country and modern pop influences, combined with her introspective and clever songwriting, has set her apart within the genre.

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll is a singer-songwriter known for his clever and witty lyrics, often infused with a sense of humor and storytelling. Despite his songwriting skills and captivating performances, he has maintained a dedicated but more niche following.

Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell’s songwriting prowess and introspective storytelling have garnered him critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. However, he may not have achieved the same level of mainstream recognition as some of his contemporaries.”

Once again, mostly strong responses from the chatbot.

Kacey Musgraves is obviously the standout question mark in the answer. She’s consistently put up monster streaming and touring numbers, so I’m a bit unsure what exactly the criteria were to score this one. That is unless it’s talking just about her early stuff like Same Trailer Different Park; in that case I fully agree.

All in all, not bad work from ChatGPT.

While there’s still improvements to be made, have to admit that I’m impressed and quite scared for where this may go in the future…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock