11 Celebs Who Tried To Go Country

Photo: Instagram (2)
jessica simpson and justin bieber

"Going country" is something many celebs have tried. Some have failed. Some haven't.

Some were from dalliances and one-offs, while others were full-on immersions and transitions.

Most failed, but there have been a few success stories. The mega popular country genre is a way of life and a lifestyle. It's not something that is entered into lightly, especially by fans who love it, which would explain why celebs going country is not always a formula for a hit.

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Jessica Simpson:

The singer/actress/designer/mom of two is a Texas native, toured with Rascal Flatts and did a duet with Dolly Parton on her 2008-released country debut Do You Know, but not even associations with those legit country acts could help the pop tart and onetime reality star gain acceptance in the country world. This was a return to her roots, but it did not effectively cross her over to the genre as had hoped.

Jessica Simpson - Instagram

Jamie Lynn Spears:

Britney Spears' baby sister Jamie Lynn is currently trying to launch her country career. Her debut single "How Could I Want More" was critically acclaimed, and her EP, The Journey, is out now. The jury is still out as to whether or not Spears will solidify her standing in the country genre. Give it time and check back in a year or so.

Jamie Lynn Spears - Instagram

Sheryl Crow:

Crow is best known for her commercially well-received work in the mainstream pop and adult contemporary genres. She has been flirting with country for years, but she fully transitioned and released her first country album Feels Like Home in 2013. She is not viewed as a country powerhouse yet, however.

Sheryl Crow - Instagram


Jewel got her start as a singer-songwriter, then shifted gears and released a dance album. She took another sonic turn and went country in 2008. She has released several country albums since and even played June Carter Cash in a Lifetime movie, so it's safe to say she has been readily accepted by the country world.

Jewel - Instagram

Lucy Hale:

The super cute Pretty Little Liars star, who hails (or "Hales") from Memphis, launched her country career in late 2013. She released "safe" and saccharine country songs, like "You Sound Good to Me," with her debut album Road Between landing in June of this year. It received critical praise for its Taylor Swift-lite style, but it has barely been a blip on the sales radar; its response has been middle of the road. It seems like Aria Montgomery she should remain.

Lucy Hale - Instagram

Kelly Clarkson:

The original American Idol winner has often broken the rules, battling with industry legend and her mentor Clive Davis. Following her gut has resulted in lots of ups and downs, hits and history. Clarkson has released a few country singles and even teamed up with genre mainstay Vince Gill. Clarkson has been embraced by the country fans, who see her as a beloved Texas girl. Since the power of Clarkson's amazing voice cannot be denied, she is taken way more seriously than, say, Simpson, when she takes artistic chances like going country.

Kelly Clarkson - Instagram

Aaron Lewis:

Lewis, the singer of moody rock band Staind, had massive hits at the active rock format. He's now established himself as an outlaw country singer. He's more Johnny Cash than Keith Urban, of course, and his throat tattoo is about as uncountry as cowboy boots are authentically country, but Lewis has enjoyed success in the genre, earning a No. 1 record to (cowboy) boot.

Aaron Lewis - Instagram

Darius Rucker:

Rucker shot to fame with the sanitized adult/pop rock of Hootie and the Blowfish. In the past few years, he has completely and totally reinvented himself as a viable, successful country artist, with four No. 1 hits at the format and Grammy wins. He is the most successful "transitioner."

Darius Rucker - Instagram

Justin Bieber:

We're kinda cheating here. The Biebs did a duet with country trio Rascal Flatts in 2001. It was essentially a remix of his "That Should Be Me." Yes, really. It was a one-time thing. The Biebs hasn't gone country since and the effort to earn him some country fans didn't really, uh, work.

Justin Bieber - Instagram

Lady Gaga:

Okay, so we're semi-cheating here, too. Gaga "went country" with one song. She released a countrified version or remix of "Born This Way" at the height of her fame in 2011. The country version boasted a little guitar twang and was slower and steadier than the dancefloor and gay wedding-ready original. It was basically a country remix called "The Country Way" version. And, pardon our French, but it f!@king ruled. Check it out here.

Lady Gaga - Instagram


The mall touring '80s teen pop sensation released Rose Tattoo, a country album, in 2011. The flame-haired singer actually planned to be a country singer before her pop career took off. Her smoky pipes are a good fit for the genre, but the album went nowhere. Maybe she should have teamed up with fellow '80s teen pop singer Debbie Gibson for an album of country duets.

Tiffany - IMDB