4. Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard was one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time. Emerging on the country scene in the 1960s, he added influences of jazz and the blues, creating a distinctive sound of his own. Life started off a bit rough for Haggard, growing up in a converted boxcar and being sent to juvenile detention centers by his conservative mother. His unorthodox childhood led to a string of crimes and arrests, eventually landing Haggard in San Quentin. In prison, was allowed to play in a country band and upon release he turned his life around, focusing on his music. He continued to make music until he peacefully passed on his 79th birthday.