Over Waylon Jennings
With the help of a few other like-minded artists, Waylon Jennings birthed the Outlaw Country movement and paved the way for the country music boom of the '90s some 20 years before the fact. The first country artist to go platinum, he was responsible for making the music industry understand that country music's appeal stretches further than record executives realized. Jennings toiled in the trenches of the music industry for the better part of a decade before he hit with the smash "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line" in 1968. Jennings' real superstardom came after he started using his road band to record and produce his own records. This move stood the Nashville establishment on its head, paving the way for a lot of other idiosyncratic artists to break out of the established formula. Jennings was an immensely charismatic performer whose booming voice took full ownership of any song he sang, whether it was Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park," Steve Young's "Lonesome On'ry & Mean," or one of his own compositions. Nashville may have gone back to making cookie cutter records, but Waylon was still out there doing his own thing right up to his death on February 13, 2002.