7 Country Singers Born In Oklahoma

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Oklahoma has long been a cradle for country music talent, contributing significantly to the genre’s rich history.

From small towns to big cities, numerous country artists have emerged from the Sooner State, leaving a lasting mark on the industry.

In this article, we’ll explore a few notable country musicians who are from Oklahoma. Check them out below!

1 – Toby Keith

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Toby Keith performs during the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival at Frank Irwin Center on October 30, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Toby Keith, born July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Oklahoma, grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and later Moore, Oklahoma. His early exposure to music at his grandmother’s club sparked his interest in performing. He received his first guitar at eight and played with local bands while attending Moore High School, where he also played football.

After graduation, he worked in the oil fields while pursuing music with his band, Easy Money. Facing unemployment during an oil industry downturn, he briefly pursued football professionally before refocusing on music, touring Oklahoma and Texas honky-tonks with Easy Money.

2 – Garth Brooks

UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Garth Brooks (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Garth Brooks, born February 7, 1962, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was raised in Yukon. His parents, Troyal Raymond Brooks Jr. and Colleen McElroy Carroll, encouraged music at home, hosting talent nights. Brooks, one of their two children, grew up with four half-siblings.

Despite his musical upbringing, Brooks initially focused on sports, excelling in football, baseball, and track. He earned a track scholarship to Oklahoma State University, where he also played in a band called Santa Fe. Graduating in 1984 with a degree in advertising, he pursued music, with his former roommate Ty England joining his road band.

3 – Carrie Underwood

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Carrie Underwood performs on NBC's "Today" Show at Rockefeller Plaza on September 14, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by NDZ/Star Max/GC Images)
NDZ/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images

Carrie Underwood, born March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, grew up on a farm in Checotah with her parents and two sisters. She showcased her singing talent at local events and church gatherings from a young age.

At 14, she auditioned for Capitol Records in Nashville but the deal fell through. Despite her early setback, she focused on academics and graduated as salutatorian from Checotah High School in 2001. Initially, she put her singing aspirations on hold and pursued a degree in mass communication from Northeastern State University. During college, she participated in talent shows and beauty pageants, showcasing her vocal prowess.

4 – Blake Shelton

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1705 -- Pictured: Singer Blake Shelton during an interview on Thursday, September 8, 2022 -- (Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images)
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Blake Shelton, born in Ada, Oklahoma, showed musical talent early on, learning guitar from his uncle and writing his first song by age 15. Tragically, he lost his older brother in a car accident at 17.

After graduating from high school, he relocated to Nashville to pursue music, landing a job at a music publishing company. With the help of Bobby Braddock, he secured a production contract with Sony Music in 1997.

5 – Reba McEntire

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 09: Reba McEntire performs on stage during day two of CMA Fest 202 at Nissan Stadium on June 09, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/WireImage)
Terry Wyatt/WireImage/Getty Images

Reba McEntire, born in McAlester, Oklahoma in 1955, grew up on a ranch in Chockie. Coming from a family deeply rooted in rodeo culture, she and her siblings inherited a love for singing from their mother. Reba began performing at a young age, honing her skills through school events and competitions.

Despite her musical talent, she pursued a degree in elementary education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. However, her passion for music never waned, and after catching the attention of country artist Red Steagall, she embarked on a journey to Nashville. With her mother’s encouragement, Reba recorded a demo that led to her signing with PolyGram/Mercury Records. Her journey from the ranches of Oklahoma to the stages of Nashville marked the beginning of her iconic country music career.

6 – Vince Gill

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 05: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (L-R) Hosts Vince Gill and Keith Urban perform onstage for All for the Hall a concert benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Bridgestone Arena on December 05, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Vince Gill, born in Norman, Oklahoma, was influenced by his father, who was a lawyer and part-time musician. Encouraged by his father, Gill learned to play multiple instruments and pursued a music career. He attended Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, where he played bluegrass music with the band Mountain Smoke.

After high school, he joined various bluegrass bands before eventually relocating to Los Angeles to join Sundance, led by fiddler Byron Berline.

7 – Joe Diffie

Musician Joe Diffie attends the 30th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on May 10, 1995 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Joe Diffie, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1958, grew up in a musical household, inspired by his father who played guitar and banjo. He began singing at an early age, developing a talent for harmony. Diffie’s family moved around during his childhood, eventually settling in Velma, Oklahoma, where he excelled in sports in high school. After attending Cameron University, he worked various jobs, including in the oil fields and as a truck driver, while pursuing music on the side.

Despite facing personal and financial challenges, Diffie moved to Nashville in the late 1980s to pursue his music career. He worked at Gibson Guitar Corporation while recording demos and eventually signed with Epic Records in 1990, launching his successful country music career.

From humble beginnings to global recognition, these artists continue to shape country music, securing Oklahoma’s lasting legacy in the industry.

It’s truly wonderful to have such talented artists contributing to the country music scene.

Check out Country Rebel’s Top 100 “Songs From The Ranch” for a fantastic selection of country music, including Justin Holmes’s “Drink You Down.” Listen below!

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