While country music has a reputation for conservatism, there are vocal liberal voices within the genre. Here are 29 left-leaning country singers advocating for progressive ideals through their music and platforms:
1. Willie Nelson
Outlaw country pioneer Willie Nelson is an outspoken liberal activist for causes like LGBTQ+ rights, environmentalism, and marijuana legalization.
2. Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw has endorsed Democratic candidates and performed at events supporting causes like gun control and environmental protection.
3. Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves frequently speaks out about social issues through her music and concerts, advocating for acceptance and progress.
4. Maren Morris
Maren Morris uses her music to promote messages of inclusivity and equality. She has criticized Trump policies on immigration and transgender rights.
5. Brandi Carlile
Openly gay singer Brandi Carlile advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and liberal policies benefiting marginalized communities.
6. Margo Price
Never one to shy away from politics, Margo Price’s music confronts inequality and champions progressive ideals.
7. Jason Isbell
Outspoken on social media, Jason Isbell slams conservative policies and advocates for issues like gun control and environmentalism.
8. Johnny Cash
The Man in Black famously performed at prisons and advocated for Native Americans, workers’ rights, and other human rights issues.
9. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton has advocated for LGBTQ+ rights for decades and speaks out against racism, while funding humanitarian programs.
10. Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks broke barriers by openly supporting gay rights early in his career, risking backlash from conservatives.
11. Emmylou Harris
A liberal activist, Emmylou Harris has promoted civil rights, environmentalism, immigrant rights, and other progressive causes.
12. Rosanne Cash
The daughter of Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash is an outspoken liberal writing politically-charged songs and op-eds.
13. Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow’s music contains political commentary on issues like homelessness, environmentalism, sexism, and gun violence.
14. Neil Young
Folk rocker Neil Young is a Canadian-American liberal who has condemned racism, homophobia, and the religious right through his music.
15. Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Yoakam has praised Obama and bashed Trump, calling him an “illegitimate president” backed by hate groups.
16. Nanci Griffith
Folk singer Nanci Griffith identified as a progressive Democrat, supporting causes like reproductive rights and racial justice.
17. Toby Keith
Despite his Bush-era patriotic anthems, Toby Keith has criticized Trump and endorsed more liberal policies over time.
18. Justin Townes Earle
Alt-country singer Justin Townes Earle frequently addressed poverty, addiction, and social justice through his songs.
19. Steve Earle
Outlaw country pioneer Steve Earle is a vocal leftist who has done advocacy work with groups like Amnesty International.
20. Cassadee Pope
Former pop-punk singer turned country artist Cassadee Pope is a liberal Democrat who often shows her colors on social media.
21. Orville Peck
The openly gay enigmatic country crooner Orville Peck advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice.
22. Reba McEntire
While avoiding overt politics, Reba McEntire has subtly criticized Trump and stumped for moderate Democratic candidates.
23. Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood largely avoids discussing politics but occasionally reveals her social liberalism in interviews.
24. The Chicks
The Chicks (formerly Dixie Chicks) famously slammed the Iraq War, embracing their liberal outsider status in country.
25. Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney has a bipartisan spirit, leaning liberal on issues like gun reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmentalism.
26. Taylor Swift
Formerly silent, Taylor Swift found her political voice in 2018 by endorsing Tennessee Democrats against Republican Marsha Blackburn.
27. Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley avoids discussing politics but has hinted at social liberalism, saying he and his wife hold progressive views on some issues.
The country duo Sugarland have subtly voiced liberal views, promoting messages of diversity, empathy, and humanitarianism through songs.
29. Sturgill Simpson
Alt-country renegade Sturgill Simpson rejects political labels but has criticized Trump policies on issues like health care and immigration.
Speaking Truth Through Songs
These progressive voices in country music use their art and platforms to advocate for inclusion, social justice, civil rights, and other liberal ideals. They prove country artists can make their political opinions heard.