The launch of the 2016 line of Gibson Acoustic models has served to reinforce just how many terrific artists have chosen Gibson acoustics as the perfect instrument for their needs. From the SJ-200 to the Hummingbird to the J-45 and beyond, Gibson acoustics have flourished in the fields of rock, country, blues, jazz, and countless other genres. Below we focus on the J-45, profiling five contemporary singer-songwriters for whom this classic instrument has been indispensable.

Kacey Musgraves

Since winning a flurry of honors for her major label debut—including a CMA “Best New Artist” award and a Grammy for “Best Country Album”—26-year-old Kacey Musgraves has become one of country music’s brightest young stars. Her new album, Pageant Material, has elevated her stature even further. Her main instrument? “A 1957 Gibson J-45,” Musgraves tells Acoustic Guitar. “I call her ‘Janice.’ She’s the first guitar that I picked up and played and thought, I have to have this. It looks like it has a story to tell. It’s been through something. She’s a tobacco sunburst kind of thing … I’m in love with the guitar. It feels so good to play.”

Mike Rosenberg (aka Passenger)

Mike Rosenberg—or, as millions of fans know him, Passenger—saw his life turned upside down when his colossal hit, “Let Her Go,” topped the charts in 20 countries. The two albums he’s released since then—Whispers and Whispers II—have solidified the 31-year-old U.K. native’s reputation as one of the world’s finest traveling troubadours. Onstage and in the studio, Rosenberg turns to his beloved J-45 (and sometimes a Hummingbird as well) to put across his acoustic gems. “When I picked up the J-45, it just felt right,” the singer-songwriter told “Especially because I play on my own, the J-45 is great, because it offers two dimensions. When you pick, it’s really sweet and subtle and delicate, but it can also really make a big noise when you strum. What I love about both those guitars—the Hummingbird and the J-45—is that they don’t have to be ‘vintage’ in order to sound good. They’re amazing straight out of the shop, which is something that can’t be said for lots of other guitars.”

Justin Moore

Justin Moore has been a near-constant presence on the country charts for seven years now. Rather than veering into country-pop, as many of his peers have done, the 31-year-old remains a fierce proponent of traditional country, to the extent that even his cover of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” sounds like a country classic. Back in 2010, he endured a frightful episode when his cherished J-45 was stolen. Fortunately, a remorseful fan returned the instrument a few days later. “That guitar means more to me than just about any guitar I have,” Moore told, after the guitar was returned. “It sounds incredible, and I’ve written every song in the last years on it. My next album will be full of songs written on that guitar. I hate we had to deal with this, but … I want to thank the guy for doing the right thing. We all make mistakes, but we don’t always make it right. It says a lot about the guy.”

Shelby Lynne

Country veteran Shelby Lynne is often leery of the press, preferring to let her songs and her music speak for themselves in lieu of submitting to interviews. Still, anyone who’s seen her perform knows that her preference for Gibson acoustics—including a J-45—runs deep. In a rare chat with Guitar World, the acclaimed singer-songwriter talked about her writing and recording process. “I start out with an acoustic,” she explained. “I generally prefer Gibson acoustics and then I’ll start layering around that. I love to write songs and I can make my way around a guitar—chord-wise. There are no rules when making records. Or there shouldn’t be, anyways. I’m kind of from the school of, ‘If it feels good, and it sounds good … do that.’ It’s just about an emotional ride.”

Ryan Bingham

Since rocketing to fame on the strength of “The Weary Kind,” the Grammy-winning theme song he co-wrote and performed for the 2010 film, Crazy Heart, Ryan Bingham has become one of Americana music’s most consistently hailed artists. While he sometimes rocks out with a vengeance, he’s never forsaken the introspective, acoustic-based songwriting that launched his career. In 2011, his wife presented him with a 1963 J-45 that he’s come to cherish. “I got my first J-45—a brand new one—when I was working on the music for Crazy Heart,” Bingham told “Of course it sounds great as well. I use the J-45 for pretty much all the acoustic stuff [in the studio]. At the end of the day, it’s always the J-45 that sounds best. It’s also my main guitar for writing.”