Jackie Keith Whitley (b. July 1, 1954 in Sandy Hook, Kentucky d. May 9, 1989) was an American country music singer.
Whitley learned to play a guitar at a very young age, and became involved with a regional television show when he was eight years old. He and his friend Ricky Skaggs formed a bluegrass band, which landed both of them their first break in 1970 when they joined Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys. Whitley was singing lead for the band by 1974.
In 1978, he joined J. D. Crowe and the New South as lead vocalist and guitarist. Critics were by then praising his very twangy country vocals, and these reviews eventually caught the attention of RCA Records, who would sign him to a contract in 1984.
Whitley's first solo album, A Hard Act to Follow, was released in 1984. However, the songs off of the album didn't get much airplay. Critics regarded the album as too erratic; while Whitley was working hard to achieve his own style, the songs he produced were inconsistent.