Despite the huge popularity of country in the South, it might come as a surprise to see that some of the most famous musicians in this genre are not from the southern states at all. Yep, this means they aren’t all from Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi – though admittedly, most are! Some aren’t even from the US, but they have still managed to enchant country music fans with their talent and love of all things southern.
Check out these country singers who call home miles away from Nashville.
In case you didn’t know, Shania is Canadian. Yeah, let that sink in. She was born in Windsor, Ontario, and as geography experts know, that’s nowhere near the South. But she sure can sing while rocking a pair of boots, and don’t even think about saying that don’t impress me much. It’s pretty impressive.
Just like Canada, New Zealand is pretty far from the southern United States, and that’s where this country music star was born. He then moved to Australia with his family where he grew up. He now owns a house in both Australia and Nashville, so at least we know he can still relate to the long hot summer days days of the South!
This country music star was born and raised in Missouri. Not far from the South, but still not quite there. However, she remedied this by moving to Nashville to start her country music career when she was 20. Once she started a family, she moved with them to Alabama, further putting her roots in the South so that now it probably feels like home to her.
Jo Dee Messina
If you’ve ever ventured to the greater-Boston area, you know you aren’t very likely to encounter very many country music singers amongst the crowds in Harvard Yard or outside of Fenway Park. That’s why Messina left her Holliston, Massachusetts home at 19 and made her way to Nashville as fast as she could. The “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” singer has sold over 5 million albums worldwide, probably even to some folks in Boston, as unlikely as it seems.
This “God Bless the USA” singer was born in Los Angeles and grew up far, far away from Nashville’s honky tonk scene in Sacramento, but the distance didn’t stop him from becoming a legend in Tenneessee, producing 22 albums and seven No. 1 hits to date.
Dierks hails from Tempe, Arizona. So he’s from the southern part of the US, sure, but technically not the South. The Southwest is a whole different ballgame, though of course country music is still popular there. He did, however, attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, making him come a little closer to becoming a country star. And yes, we had to say it!
The soulful baritone was born and raised in Paris…Illinois. The zip code doesn’t matter when you’re talking about Paris. To a lot of country music fans Illinois can seem just as far away as France. Eldredge loved country music early on in life and fans certainly agreed with his love after he opened for 19 of Taylor Swift’s tour dates last summer.
Considering she was born in Utah and grew up in Alaska, we think it is Perfectly Clear that she is not from the South. But that didn’t stop her from releasing a pretty popular country album in 2008. She even married a cowboy that same year. Country music transformation: complete.