One could argue that mugshots are really having a moment.
Everyone loves a good celebrity photo from the slammer, and Hootie and the Blowfish lead man Darius Rucker rejuvenated the long list of country music mugshots this past week. The “Only Wanna Be With You” singer was arrested and charged with one count of the a violation of Tennessee’s vehicle registration law and two counts of simple possession/casual exchange of a controlled substance.
Which made me think…what are some of country music’s most memorable and recognizable mugshots? I did my best to gather the best of the best below:
The country singer was pulled over back in February of 2023, and the warrant for his arrest took so long to be issued because the Tennessee officers that pulled him over were awaiting test results of “mystery pills” that they sent off. Rucker also had some marijuana in his possession, which counted as one of the two counts of simple possession.
Hootie and the Blowfish? More like Hootie and the Potfish. FREE HOOTIE.
Chris Young was also arrested recently, stemming from an incident at a bar in Nashville. However, security camera footage would quickly prove that Chris didn’t do anything wrong, and all charges were dropped. Chris got shoved into a bar stool by an ABC Agent though… ouch.
Recency bias might be in play here, but Zach Bryan’s mugshot is one of the best on the list. Bryan was almost put into a “Something in the Orange” jumpsuit when he was booked for interfering with the arrest of his security guard back in September, which can be seen in it’s entirety in the dash cam footage that was released.
What are the Las Vegas odds on Zach utilizing this picture for the cover of one of his future singles? I’d say they would have to be pretty good, though Bryan was apologetic about the whole thing, and at this point likely just wants to distance himself from it and put it in the past.
Johnny Cash became a living legend after this mugshot.
With Johnny Cash, you’ve actually got a plethora of mugshots to choose from. This one above, which features Cash sporting a bandage above his right eye, was taken as a joke during his famous visit to Folsom Prison in California in 1966.
It’s not really surprising that the “Man in Black” would have multiple mugshots right? He was actually arrested in 1965 when he tried to sneak drugs back from Mexico in his guitar case, and also made a trip to jail when he trespassed in Starkville, Mississippi in that same year.
The “Diggin’ Up Bones” singer probably had a bone to pick with the person who alerted authorities that he was drinking wine in his parked vehicle in a church parking lot. Can’t a man have a hobby?
Travis got away with just a misdemeanor and only stayed in jail for a couple of hours (really just to sober up). He also came away with a beautiful picture, in which he wasn’t afraid to crack a smile for the camera.
When Morgan Wallen’s mugshot hit the social media world, country music fans lost their minds. The country singer went out on the town in Nashville, and after bar hopping with some old friends, was arrested for public intoxication at Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk.
Some might say that the photo screams “where am I?” while others thought that it was actually a very good photo of Wallen. Looks like it was in the earlier days of his signature mullet too, which is now sadly gone (but growing back).
Like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson probably has enough mugshots to fill up a scrap book. Most of Nelson’s run-ins with the police have resulted from (you guessed it) possession of marijuana. Darius Rucker must know how he feels…
One of his first offenses was in 1974 in Dallas, Texas. As with many of the mugshots that have been on this list, it’s really not that bad of a shot of Willie. He’s definitely mean mugging in the photo, which seems pretty appropriate considering he probably just had one of his favorite things taken away from him.
Of course, Koe Wetzel has had a couple arrests and his most infamous arrest led to this masterpiece…
“’February 28th, 2016,’ uh, it’s a song I wrote after I got picked up in Stephenville. I kind of had already had the idea of it, and then I got picked up one night in Stephenville and spent a couple nights in Erath country jail.
Got out, finished the song, and every time I hear it, or every time we play it, I just go back to Stephenville, you know. I was in Stephenville for five of six years, so it’s kinda like a second home to me. This song really means a lot to me and the guys, and kinda just takes us back to where we were at at that point in our lives.”