Country music and conservative politics go hand-in-hand. Country music generally promotes all that conservatives support: God, guns, freedom, and America. It also tends to support more traditional gender roles and conventional family values. In some respects, there is a growing divide between country artists and their fans, as many country music artists are now supporting gun control and gay rights. But overall, the field of artists remains reasonably conservative.
Here are the six most politically conservative artists of them all.
6) Toby Keith
Never one to shy away from controversy or his beliefs, Toby Keith isn’t afraid to take on any of the haters. What is most interesting is just how he became linked with conservative politics.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Keith actually isn’t a registered Republican. Everyone pretty much assumed he was thanks to songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue” and his subsequent fight with Dixie Chics lead singer Natalie Maines. Plus that, he took serious heat for performing at Trump’s inauguration– something everyone thought he did because of his ties to the GOP.
But it simply wasn’t the case that Keith was politically motivated. In a 2016 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Keith explained that his motives are much more financial. “It was just a paid party for the sponsors, just a private party for 1,200 people,” he said about playing a show for the RNC. “When I start catching s— about it, I just say, “Look, I’m not a registered Republican, and they paid me a buttload of money to play this thing. And if the other side calls, I’ll go play theirs for that much, too.”
What actually happened was that Toby Keith was a prominent supporter of the military troops. So when he started playing shows for them and singing songs that included lines like, “We’ll put a boot in your ass,” people just assumed he was a Republican.
Which isn’t to say that he isn’t political at all. Though a registered Independent, as he also admitted to the Chicago Tribune, “They know I’m in the middle, which makes you right of where the center is today. Twenty years ago, where I’m at would have been in the middle.”
And part of what also adds to the notion that he’s “right of center” is how little he cares about what people think of him. As he told the Washington Post, “I’m going to write what I write, sing what I sing. If it works it works. And if it don’t— I really don’t care.”