Those who think a country singer needs to write their own songs to be taken seriously have never visited the Country Music Hall of Fame.

This list of 11 country stars who didn't (or don't) write their own songs (and one you'll be shocked to learn does) includes four Hall of Famers and two more who are real close to being inducted.

So, go ahead — you be the one to tell Reba McEntire her catalog is weak because she wrote so little of it.

Related: 64 Artists That Are Not in the Country Music Hall of Fame

This age-old conversation flared up again in late July 2023, when Jason Isbell and Jake Owen went back and forth on Twitter. Isbell was being critical of Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" and challenged Aldean to write a song about his life.

Owen — whose songwriting career is fascinating, to say the least — fired back. "The 'write your own songs' dagger cuts me deep because I think that is the wrong way to encourage artists trying to make it," he'd share during a lengthy thread.

In 2023, it's difficult to find modern artists who don't also write, but that doesn't mean the argument has been decided. The economics of being a new country artist almost demand you write your own songs, too. If you want to eat in Nashville, you either need to be a world class entertainer or you need to be able to build a world class chorus.

11 Country Stars Who Don't Write Their Own Songs + 1 You'll Be Shocked to Learn Does

If you think a country singer needs to write their own songs to be a legitimate artist, take this short quiz:

Which of the following five hitmakers is also an established songwriter: Luke Bryan, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson?

Just two of those names make this list of 11 country stars who don't write their own songs, and one you'll be surprised to learn does. It's a list that includes four Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and at least two others sure to get in soon. The takeaway is that great singers are great storytellers, especially when they're telling someone else's story.

64 Artists Not in the Country Music Hall of Fame

Which county singer is most deserving of a Country Music Hall of Fame induction? Here are 64 artists that don't have a medallion yet, with some thoughts on when each is eligible and if their fans can expect that nod soon.

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