92. Chris LeDoux
The life of the cowboy is one of country music's central narratives, to the point of being cliché, but it's the existence that Chris LeDoux actually lived. A bareback national rodeo champion, the Wyoming native's ranch songs were the real deal, and he played the part of the maverick to a T, even refusing to sign a record contract because he preferred to play by his own rules. Until, that is, Garth Brooks' shout-out on 'Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" made it too tempting to not cash in. Their subsequent duet, "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy," helped give LeDoux his due and his mystique has only grown since his untimely death at 56 from cancer in 2005. J.G.
Key Tracks: "This Cowboy's Hat," "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy"