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Greatest Texas singers of all time? Here's who Rolling Stone picked.

Yes, Selena made the list, though she's not as high as some Texas fans might place her.

SAN ANTONIO — If you were at all online on New Year's Day, you might have noticed some frustration over a certain omission on a certain list. 

Rolling Stone magazine, the journalists of which are experts in the art of discourse-creating rankings, started 2023 by publishing a list of the 200 greatest singers of all time. Among those that didn't make the cut was Celine Dion, sparking some uproar

Lone Star State music fans, meanwhile, can rest easy. In between Spanish pop star Rosalía's No. 200 spot and Aretha Franklin leading the way at No. 1 are no fewer than a dozen Texas-born crooners, rockstars and icons of the stage. Among the most notable is Texas's beloved Selena, checking in at No. 89, with Port Arthur's Janis Joplin a few spots ahead of her. 

As for Rolling Stone's highest-ranked Texas singer of all time, that would be Houston's Beyoncé, making a strong showing at No. 8.

Read on below to see which other Texans made the cut, and where. 

Kelly Clarkson - 194 

Among the most famous of "American Idol" contestants, the Fort Worth native went on to have a grand career in pop, winning three Grammys and creating a scream-in-your-car hit for the ages with "Because of You." 

Buddy Holly - 174

Twenty spots down the list is Buddy Holly, the 1950s rock pioneer born in Lubbock who died at just 22 in a plane crash. Everyone from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones have cited Holly as a major musical inspiration. 

George Strait - 156

Poteet's own King George is still going strong 40 years later, renowned for his versatility in country music and winning such accolades as election into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Strait was also named Artist of the Decade in the 2000s by the Academy of Country Music. 

Erykah Badu - 115

Further down the list is Dallas-born Badu, who was on the frontlines of the neo-soul movement of the '90s. It was her opening act at a 1994 Fort Worth show that got her on the music industry's radar; she's since produced Billboard-topping singles, won Grammys, and taken her talents to the big screen with roles in "The Cider House Rules" and "House of D."

Usher - 97

More Dallas representation on Rolling Stone's list comes courtesy of Usher, who broke out when he was just out of high school. The R&B superstar has spawned enduring hits and multiple No. 1 singles, and he won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the Grammys in consecutive years in the early-2000s. 

Selena - 89

The Queen of Cumbia herself checks in at 89, in a spot befitting the multicultural legacy of a singer who died at just 23 years old. Just last year a posthumous album was released by Selena's family, and the artist continues to be a cultural icon in South Texas.

Janis Joplin - 78

One of the most iconic crooners of the '60s, Joplin, born in Port Arthur in 1943, forged a reputation for her dazzling stage presence and remains a mainstay on the airwaves. Appearances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock cemented her legendary status. 

Roy Orbison - 71

The Vernon-born singer/songwriter has received praise from fellow rockers Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, compliments matched by his inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Barry White - 56

One of the best-selling artists of all time, Galveston-born Barry White had the range, crafting hits for soul, funk and disco radio. No fewer than 41 of his albums and compilations were certified platinum over the course of a decades-long career that saw White sing, perform, produce and act. 

Willie Nelson - 54

You just knew the Abbott, Texas native would pop up somewhere. The Lone Star State's favorite renegade is still going strong at 89, having released dozens of albums over 60-plus years and acquiring a legendary status that transcends Texas. Rolling Stone writers put it nicely, saying Nelson has a voice that is "plainspoken yet complex, slightly nasal yet welcoming, earthy yet sophisticated."

George Jones - 24

Jones picked up a guitar at the age of 9, and it was all uphill from there. Remembered for his moody songs and full immersion into his lyrics, the Saratoga-born Jones produced 13 No. 1 country hits while forging a reputation as one of the greatest harmony singers the genre ever saw, and has ever seen. 

Beyoncé - 8

Perhaps unsurprising given her dynamism as a musician, her evolution as an artist and her reach as a celebrity, it's Houston's Beyoncé who Rolling Stone crowns as the greatest Texas-born singer of all time. 

To list the Destiny's Child alumna's accomplishment would double this article's length, but even when remaining within the medium of music her success is mind-boggling: More than 200 million records sold worldwide, 28 Grammy wins, 29 MTV Video Music Awards wins and the status of most-awarded female musician of all time. Rolling Stone cited her mastery at switching between vocal styles and genres, and placed her on a perch with the likes of Prince, Janet Jackson and Tina Turner. 


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