Trying to name the greatest man in country music seems like a pretty impossible task, but if you’re going to assemble the list, asking the folks at CMT to compile it seems like a pretty good place to start.

And with more than 25 chart-topping country hits (and more than 30 million albums sold in the US alone), it’s pretty hard to argue with Alan Jackson at number one.

CMT bestowed Jackson with the honor during a recent special — and released its rankings for the rest of the top 20 men in country, a list that includes such major names as George Strait, Tim McGraw, and Kenny Chesney (who came in second, third, and fourth, respectively).

“Just as far as the modern era goes, I don’t think there’s a more perfect traditional country singer or writer,” said Joe Nichols. “I think he’s a great country singer in that he doesn’t do too much. He does enough to deliver a song and does it with a very good, honest traditional country twang. He writes them, too, so you can’t beat that.”

“What I’ve always known about Alan is he is able to focus like a laser on his audience,” added Trace Adkins, who came in at number 12. “He knows exactly what Alan Jackson fans want to hear and he has kept the crosshairs on that his entire career.”

The 20 Greatest Men in Country Music, According to CMT:
1. Alan Jackson
2. George Strait
3. Tim McGraw
4. Kenny Chesney
5. Keith Urban
6. Toby Keith
7. Brad Paisley
8. Blake Shelton
9. Jason Aldean
10. Garth Brooks
11. Rascal Flatts
12. Trace Adkins
13. Johnny Cash
14. Vince Gill
15. Brooks and Dunn
16. Willie Nelson
17. Hank Williams Jr.
18. Dierks Bentley
19. Randy Travis
20. Zac Brown Band

[Taste of Country]