19. Jake Owen
Hometown Vero Beach, Fla.
Why we love him Traditional country fans may scoff at the drum-machine-driven ''Barefoot Blue Jean Night,'' but the cascading whoas of the chorus helped turn the sun-and-surf-lovin' anthem into a crossover hit and Owen's first No. 1. His follow-up, ''Alone With You,'' also hit the top of the country charts, proving that we're not the only ones smitten with the impressively maned breakout. (And yeah, it doesn't hurt that he looks like a lost Wilson brother.)
What's next Having toured with Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, and Keith Urban, Owen is no stranger to rolling with Nashville's A list, but his 2012 gig opening for the Kenny Chesney–Tim McGraw summer doubleheader is a whole other level. ''I've spent the last six years playing anywhere and everywhere,'' he tells EW. ''And I'm going to continue appreciating each day I can grab a guitar and sing.''
Essential tracks ''Barefoot Blue Jean Night,'' ''Alone With You,'' ''Don't Think I Can't Love You''