See How 18 Country Stars Looked When They Were Young

Country Stars When They Were Young

(Left) Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images / (Center) Paul Natkin / Contributor / Getty Images / (Right) Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

See 18 Photos Of Country Music Artists In Their Younger Years, Before They Hit It Big & Became The Legends We Know Today

Many country stars have been (or were) in the business for decades. Those who started their careers long before the prevalence of the internet didn’t have their photos circulating like modern artists do.

Not to mention, many country artists emerged on the scene with a different “look” than they’re known for today. For example, Willie Nelson started his career with short hair and no beard, and he wore a suit. He adopted his now-famous braids, bandana, and scruffy beard later in his career.

RELATED: 12 OF THE MOST ICONIC OUTFITS WORN BY COUNTRY ARTISTS

Below, we’ve included photos of 18 beloved country stars in their younger years. Take a look at the photos, and see if you can recognize who they are. We’ll also provide a clue below each artist’s photo. Then, we’ll reveal everyone’s identities at the end of the list.

See Photos Of 17 Country Stars When They Were Young Below

Country Star #1

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Barbara Mandrell
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

This lovely lady was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009, several years after she retired from performing.

Country Star #2

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Marty Robbins
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

The young fella in this photo may be clean-shaven here, but he was known for rocking a mustache in the later years of his career!

Country Star #3

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Waylon Jennings
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

The handsome outlaw in this photo formed his first band when he was only 14 years old. He’s obviously a little older in this picture here, but it was still taken early in his career!

Country Star #4

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Hank Williams Jr.
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

This young man was born into a country music family. Both he and his father are in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Country Star #5

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Willie Nelson
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

Now who is this well-dressed gentleman? He’s quite young in this picture, but he just celebrated his 90th birthday in 2023!

Country Star #6

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Tanya Tucker
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

This artist was only 13 years old when her debut single was released. Now, she’s set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year (2023).

Country Star #7

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Charlie Daniels
Waring Abbott / Contributor / Getty Images

We sadly lost this fiddle-playing star in 2020, just four years after he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Country Star #8

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Alan Jackson
Beth Gwinn / Contributor / Getty Images

It may be a little easier to identify the young country star in this photo. But we don’t blame you if you’re stumped, because this artist looks quite different without his signature mustache and white hat.

Country Star #9

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, George Jones
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

This young country singer was photographed in 1956 when he would have been 24-25 years old. He went on to become a country music icon, and died in 2013 at the age of 81.

Country Star #10

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Kris Kristofferson
Jack Robinson / Contributor / Getty Images

The handsome fella in this picture is known as a country singer-songwriter and actor. This particular photo was taken in December 1970 when he was 34 years old.

Country Star #11

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Merle Haggard
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The young artist in this photo was known for sporting a more rugged appearance for most of his career. He passed away on April 6, 2016, which was also his 79th birthday.

Country Star #12

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, LeAnn Rimes
Patrick Downs / Contributor / Getty Images

This beautiful young lady was only 13 when this picture was taken. She was the same age when she broke into the country music scene with the release of her debut single.

Country Star #13

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Alison Krauss
Denise Sofranko / Contributor / Getty Images

The fiddle-playing singer in this picture was born to be a star. Her artistry has been recognized with tons of accolades, including 27 Grammy Awards.

Country Star #14

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Kenny Rogers
Jack Mitchell / Contributor / Getty Images

This good-lookin’ guy didn’t start his career as a country artist. He made the shift into country in later years, and passed away in 2020 at the age of 81.

Country Star #15

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Emmylou Harris
Gijsbert Hanekroot / Contributor / Getty Images

The stunning star in this photo was 27-28 years old at the time. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Country Star #16

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Lee Ann Womack
Paul Natkin / Contributor / Getty Images

This country star was just 21 years old when this picture was taken. She released her first single nine years later (in 1997) and scored her first #1 hit three years after that (in 2000).

Country Star #17

Country Stars In Their Younger Years, Jerry Reed
GAB Archive / Contributor / Getty Images

The country singer in this snapshot achieved an even greater level of fame after starring in a movie with Burt Reynolds in 1977.

Country Star #18

A portrait of a young Brenda Lee
GAB Archive / Redferns / Getty Images

It may be pretty easy for y’all to figure out who the young artist is in this photo. But in case you’re stumped, here’s your hint. She was only 13 years old when she recorded what many consider to be her signature song!

So Who Are/Were All Of These Country Stars In The Photos?

Now that you’ve looked through the photos and read the clues, here’s who all of the artists are/were.

Star #1 – Barbara Mandrell

Star #2 – Marty Robbins

Star #3 – Waylon Jennings

Star #4 – Hank Williams Jr.

Star #5 – Willie Nelson

Star #6 – Tanya Tucker

Star #7 – Charlie Daniels

Star #8 – Alan Jackson

Star #9 – George Jones

Star #10 – Kris Kristofferson

Star #11 – Merle Haggard

Star # 12- LeAnn Rimes

Star #13 – Alison Krauss

Star #14 – Kenny Rogers

Star #15 – Emmylou Harris

Star #16 – Lee Ann Womack

Star #17 – Jerry Reed

Star #18 – Brenda Lee

How many of these artists did you recognize from their younger photos? Let us know if you got them all correct, and enjoy a performance from a young Willie Nelson below.

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