Conservative rock stars are by their very nature a rare breed. By and large, rock stars tend to have values, attitudes, and beliefs that would be considered more Liberal than Republican.
Liberal or progressive rock artists are typically concerned with rebelling against the established order and challenging traditional values, with such themes often appearing in the lyrics of rock songs.
Yet there are a select few of right wing rock stars, both in the United States and UK, who break the stereotype and unashamedly express conservative political viewpoints.
Here are ten conservative rock stars who have been vocal about their political views.
10. Trace Adkins
American country music singer Trace Adkins 1996 debut record Dreamin’ Out Loud was the first of his ten studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations.
Impressively, he has released more than twenty singles on the Billboard country music charts including recent number one hits ‘Ladies Love Country Boys’ and ‘You’re Gonna Miss This.’
Adkins is a proud NRA supporter, expressing that Republicans better represent his ideology and the overall needs of America.
“I don’t like the direction that Democrats want to take this country,” Adkins told TasteOfCountry.com. “I’ve been a Republican since I registered to vote in 1980.”
9. Bill Wyman – The Rolling Stones
Bassist Bill Wyman found fame with legendary English Rock ‘n’ Roll group The Rolling Stones in 1962.
He is responsible for playing some of the most iconic bass lines in popular music history including ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’ whilst registering eight number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
One of Wyman’s Conservative views centres around the UK’s Labour party, complaining that they treat high earners unfairly.
“I remember having to leave the country in ’71 because tax was at 90%. Never trust ’em. I vote Tory because that’s where I come from,” Wyman told the Guardian.
8. Joe Perry – aerosmith
Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry crafted a series of fantastic rock anthems throughout his forty-year plus career to date including the likes of ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Walk This Way.’
Aerosmith have twelve multi-platinum albums and nine number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 making them one of the most successful stadium rock acts of all time.
Perry describes himself as a “lifelong Republican” and even endorsed John McCain during the 2008 Presidential election.
“I love America.” Perry said. “I love the culture. I love the freedom that it stands for.”
7. Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent found fame as lead guitarist and vocalist of rock outfit The Amboy Dukes. Formed in 1963, the group were renowned for their mixture of hard and psychedelic rock sounds. Yet following the act’s gradual disbanding, Nugent forged a successful solo career for himself.
He produced a number of multi-platinum albums in the United States, his first three solo efforts Ted Nugent, Free-for-All, and Cat Scratch Fever all becoming commercial hits.
Nugent is a vocal advocate of the Republican Party and various associated conservative causes including gun rights. He is openly a supporter of former President Donald Trump, and in his time has made a number of statements criticising Barack Obama.
Performing at a Trump event in Texas he was accused of hate speech when telling Trump fans to go “berserk on the skulls of the Democrats” just hours after an alleged white supremacist killed ten people during a mass shooting at a grocery store.
He told his supporters that Democrats were “the enemies of America.”
6. Johnny Ramone
Founding member of The Ramones, Johnny Ramone is considered a pioneer of the punk movement genre. He is highly celebrated, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and appeared on Time‘s list of “The 10 Greatest Electric-Guitar Players.”
The highest the Ramones ever reached on the Billboard Hot 100 was number 66 with ‘Rockaway Beach’ before the group finally went their separate ways in 1996.
Ramone claims he first realised he was a Republican at the age of 12.
“It was in 1960, the Nixon-Kennedy election,” Ramone told the Washington Post. “People around me were saying ‘Oh, Kennedy’s so handsome’ and I thought, ‘Well if these people are going to vote for someone based on how he looks, I don’t want to be a party to that.”
5. Alex James – Blur
Bassist Alex James rose to prominence as part of 1990’s British quartet Blur whilst also playing with acts including Fat Les, Me Me Me, WigWam, and Bad Lieutenant.
Blur were part of a cultural movement in the UK, riding the wave known as Britpop, recording twenty-six Top 40 hits along with thirteen Top 10s and their two number one singles – ‘Country House’ and ‘Beetlebum.’
The Englishman was occasionally outspoken about his loyalty to the Conservative Party and received serious backlash on social media for his opinions about a former Labour Prime Minister.
“I just cannot bring myself to vote for Jeremy Corbyn,” he tweeted, according to British music magazine NME.
Former Smiths’ star Morrissey has never shied away from controversy and political leanings. His outspoken lyrics have always been a key indicator of the performer’s innermost feelings and social beliefs.
The Smiths had eight albums that charted in the Billboard 200 and numerous culturally significant songs in their back catalogue such as ‘How Soon Is Now,’ ‘This Charming Man’ and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.’
He was accused of reaffirming his support for the far-right by once suggesting that former UK Independent Party leader Nigel Farage “would make a good prime minister.”
“The UK is a dangerously hateful place now,” Morrisey explained. “And I think we need someone to put a stop to the lunacy and to speak for everyone.”
3. Kid Rock
American rapper and singer Kid Rock broke through into the mainstream using a rap rock sound that soon shifted towards country rock. His breakthrough record Devil Without a Cause sold 14 million copies since its release in 1998 with follow-up album Cocky famed for its distinct mixture of country, rock and hip hop.
Kid Rock says he is “definitely a Republican on fiscal issues and the military,” although he noted that he leans to the middle on social issues.
The artist has always been vocal on the most serious and controversial social arguments, once stating he has socially liberal views on abortion and gay marriage for example but conservative views on economics. He once claimed he was “no fan of abortion.”
2. Elvis Presley
Rock ‘n’ Roll icon Elvis Presley needs no introduction to music lovers. He recorded an incredible eighteen number one hits across the 1950s, 60s and 70s including ‘Hound Dog,’ ‘Love Me Tender,’ ‘All Shook Up’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock.’
‘The King’ rarely revealed his deeper political viewpoints, instead allowing his near-unrivalled and legendary back catalogue do all the talking.
However, Presley reportedly shifted his political stances to the right after developing strong opinions over dislike for “hippies and illegal drugs he saw as part of the hippie movement’ alongside rumours of a strong affiliation with Republican President Richard Nixon.
1. Eric Clapton
English rock songwriter-guitarist Eric Clapton is considered one of the most influential rock musicians ever. Most notably he was ranked second on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
Twenty three of his songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 including six top ten hits and number one record “I Shot The Sheriff’ in 1974. Two of his records even peaked on top of the Billboard 200, both 461 Ocean Boulevard and From The Cradle reaching top spot.
Clapton has never been afraid of openly discussing his political issues and is a self-described “old-fashioned conservative.”
In 1976, Clapton is said to have launched into a rant against the situation surrounding immigration in Britain, two years before endorsing right-wing candidate Enoch Powell for Prime Minister.
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