Female Country Singers: The Top 45 of All Time

Country music has a rich history of powerful vocals and heartfelt storytelling, and the women who have graced the genre with their talents have played an integral role in shaping its identity. From pioneers who paved the way for future generations to modern-day trailblazers, female country singers have left an indelible mark on the genre. From the early days of Kitty Wells to today’s contemporary stars, these women have captivated audiences with their powerful voices, soulful lyrics and enduring melodies.

The early days of country music were dominated by male singers, but some women began to break through in the 1930s and 1940s. Known as the “Queen of Country Music,” Kitty Wells was one of the first female singers to achieve mainstream success. She was a pioneer for women in the music industry, paving the way for future generations of female artists.

Golden Age And Modern Era Music

The 1950s and 1960s saw an explosion of female country stars, including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. These women were all incredibly talented singers and songwriters, and they helped define the sound of country music during this era.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and K.T. Oslin. These women continue to push the boundaries of country music by incorporating elements of pop, rock and other genres into their sound.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of female singers, including Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. These women are all incredibly successful artists who are helping to keep country music fresh and relevant.

Female Country Singers: The Top 45 of All Time

01. Patsy Cline (1932-1963):

Often considered one of the greatest voices in country music, Patsy Cline’s passionate and soulful performances set the stage for generations to come. Hits like “Crazy” and “I Fall to Peace” cemented Her legacy.

02. Dolly Parton (Born 1946):

A true icon, Dolly Parton’s career spanned decades, and her songwriting skills, combined with her magnetic stage presence, made her an enduring force in country music. Classics like “Jolene” and “9 to 5” showcase her versatility.

03. Loretta Lynn (Born 1932):

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” remains a symbol of strength and authenticity in country music. Loretta Lynn’s 0001impeccable storytelling and distinctive voice made her a trailblazer for women in the genre.

04. Tammy Wynette (1942-1998):

Known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” Tammy Wynette’s string of hits, including “Stand By Your Man,” made her an enduring figure in the genre, earning her numerous accolades and awards.

05. Reba McEntire (Born 1955):

With a career spanning more than four decades, Reba McEntire is a country music powerhouse. Known for her dynamic voice and charismatic stage presence, she is a chart-topping artist with hits such as “Fancy” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”

06. Emmylou Harris (Born 1947):

Emmylou Harris’ ethereal voice and innovative blend of country and folk have earned her critical acclaim. Her collaborations with artists across a range of styles demonstrate her versatility and enduring influence.

07. Kitty Wells (1919-2012):

Often hailed as the first female country superstar, Kitty Wells broke barriers with her bold approach. Her 1952 hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” challenged traditional gender roles and paved the way for future female artists.

08. Shania Twain (Born 1965):

Shania Twain’s crossover success brought a new perspective to country music in the ’90s. Her album “Come On Over” remains the best-selling country album of all time, and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” Hits like this. Showcase her dynamic style.

09. Alison Krauss (Born 1971):

A master of bluegrass and country, Alison Krauss’ angelic voice and unmatched fiddling skills have earned her an impressive array of awards. Her collaborations and solo work with Union Station highlight her musical prowess.

10. Martina McBride (Born 1966):

Martina McBride’s powerful vocals and soulful performances have made her a mainstay in country music. Songs like “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing” tackle social issues with compassion and impact.

11. June Carter Cash (1929-2003):

A member of the iconic Carter family, June Carter Cash’s contributions to country music extend beyond her famous marriage to Johnny Cash. Her songwriting, humor and stage presence made him an influential figure in her own right.

12. Tanya Tucker (Born 1958):

Bursting onto the scene as a teenage sensation, Tanya Tucker’s voice and rebellious spirit set her apart. Hits like “Delta Dawn” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” established her as a force to be reckoned with.

13. Trisha Yearwood (Born 1964):

Trisha Yearwood’s soulful vocals and heartfelt ballads have earned her numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards. Songs like “She’s in Love with the Boy” and “How Do I Live” showcase her vocal range and storytelling skills.

14. Connie Smith (Born 1941):

A voice often compared to that of Patsy Cline, Connie Smith’s career spanned more than five decades. Hits like “Once a Day” and “Ain’t Had No Lovin'” cemented her status as one of country music’s enduring talents.

15. Marty Robbins (1925-1982):

Marty Robbins, known for her smooth voice and storytelling ability, had a significant impact on country music. Hits like “El Paso” and “Big Iron” showcase her versatility and ability to capture the essence of storytelling in song.

16. Rosanne Cash (Born 1955):

Daughter of Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash made her way on the country music scene. Her introspective and poetic songwriting combined with her soulful vocals have earned her critical acclaim and Grammy Awards.

17. Crystal Gayle (Born 1951):

Crystal Gayle silky-smooth vocals and crossover success made her a country-pop sensation in the ’70s and ’80s. Her timeless hit “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” remains a classic in the genre.

18. Linda Ronstadt (Born 1946):

Although known for her versatility across genres, Linda Ronstadt’s country music roots are undeniable. Her album “Trio” with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris remains a breakthrough collaboration in the genre.

19. Carrie Underwood (Born 1983):

Rising to fame as the winner of “American Idol,” Carrie Underwood has become one of country music’s modern superstars. She continued to dominate the charts with hits such as “Before She Cheats” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel”.

20. Faith Hill (Born 1967):

Faith Hill’s soulful vocals and crossover success have made her a household name. Hits like “This Kiss” and “Breathe” showcase her ability to seamlessly blend country with pop influences.

21. Lee Ann Womack (Born 1966):

Lee Ann Womack’s traditional country sound and soulful lyrics have earned her critical acclaim. Her Grammy-winning hit “I Hope You Dance” remains a timeless anthem of love and life.

22. Patty Loveless (Born 1957):

Patty Loveless powerful vocals and traditional country sound have made her a respected figure in the genre. Songs like “Blame It On Your Heart” and “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am” showcase her range and depth.

23. Gillian Welch (Born 1967):

Known for her hauntingly beautiful voice and authentic approach to Americana and folk-country, Gillian Welch has left an indelible mark on the genre. Her album “Time (The Revelator)” is a masterpiece of storytelling.

24. Kacey Musgraves (Born 1988):

Kacey Musgraves brings a fresh and progressive perspective to country music, blending traditional sounds with modern themes. Her Grammy-winning album “Golden Hour” showcases her songwriting skills and unique style.

25. Margo Price (Born 1983):

Margo Price’s raw and honest songwriting, combined with her soulful vocals, has garnered critical acclaim in the contemporary country scene. Her albums, including “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” and “That’s How Rumors Get Started,” explore themes of resilience and truth.

26. Kelsea Ballerini (Born 1993):

A rising star in contemporary country music, Kelsey Ballerini has quickly made a name for herself with her catchy tunes and relatable lyrics. Hits like “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Peter Pan” showcase her pop-infused country style.

27. The Judds (Naomi and Wynonna Judd):

A mother-daughter duo who took the country music scene by storm in the ’80s, The Judes’ tunes and soulful songs, including “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days),” earned them multiple Awards and a loyal fanbase.

28. Brandy Clark (Born 1975):

Brandy Clark is known for her poignant songwriting and storytelling abilities. Both as a solo artist and a songwriter for others, her contributions to the modern country music landscape are marked by authenticity and depth.

29. Cam (Born 1984):

Cam’s soulful voice and introspective songwriting brings a fresh perspective to country music. Her breakout hit “Burning House” garnered critical acclaim for its emotional depth and unique sound.

30. Pam Tillis (Born 1957):

As the daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis made her way in the ’90s with a string of hits. Songs like “Maybe It Was Memphis” and “Shake the Sugar Tree” showcase her vocal talent and storytelling ability.

31. Ashley McBryde (Born 1983):

Ashley McBryde’s gritty vocals and authentic storytelling have garnered attention in the country music scene. Her album “Girl Going Nowhere” earned her critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination.

32. Lorrie Morgan (Born 1959):

Lorrie Morgan’s career spans several decades, marked by hits like “Five Minutes” and “What Part of No.” Her distinctive voice and emotive performances have made her a respected figure in country music.

33. Joni Mitchell (Born 1943):

While not exclusively a country artist, Joni Mitchell’s influence on the genre is undeniable. Her album “Blue” is often cited as a seminal work in the singer-songwriter genre, and her impact can be heard in the work of many country musicians.

34. Wanda Jackson (Born 1937):

Known as the “Queen of Rockabilly,” Wanda Jackson’s contributions to country and rock ‘n’ roll are significant. Her energetic performances and hits like “Let’s Have a Party” paved the way for female artists in the male-dominated industry.

35. Suzy Bogguss (Born 1956):

Suzy Bogguss’s sweet voice and traditional country sound gained popularity in the ’80s and ’90s. Hits like “Aces” and “Someday Soon” showcase her ability to blend classic country with a modern touch.

36. Jessi Colter (Born 1943):

A key figure in the outlaw country movement, Jessi Colter’s collaboration with husband Waylon Jennings produced timeless classics like “Storms Never Last.” Her soulful voice and songwriting continue to inspire.

37. Mary Chapin Carpenter (Born 1958):

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s folk-infused country sound and introspective lyrics set her apart in the ’80s and ’90s. Hits like “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” earned her Grammy Awards and widespread acclaim.

38. Lucinda Williams (Born 1953):

Lucinda Williams’ influential career spans multiple genres, including folk, rock and country. Her album “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” is a landmark in alternative country, showcasing her distinctive voice and poetic songwriting.

39. Patty Griffin (Born 1964):

Patty Griffin’s folk and Americana influences have made her a beloved figure in the country music community. Her album “Flaming Red” and songs like “Rain” demonstrate her versatility and emotional depth.

40. K.T. Oslin (1942-2020):

K.T. Oslin’s career took off in the late ’80s, and her songs like “80’s Ladies” and “Do Ya” earned her Grammy Awards. Her witty and mature songwriting tackled themes of love and womanhood.

41. Kathy Mattea (Born 1959):

Kathy Mattea’s career in country music flourished in the late ’80s and ’90s. Known for hits like “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Where’ve You Been,” she brought a thoughtful and melodic touch to the genre.

42. Terri Clark (Born 1968):

Terri Clark burst onto the country music scene in the ’90s with her energetic performances and catchy tunes. Songs like “Better Things to Do” and “Girls Lie Too” showcased her contemporary country sound.

43. Jeannie C. Riley (Born 1945):

Jeannie C. Riley’s breakthrough hit “Harper Valley PTA” made her the first woman to top both the pop and country charts with the same song. Her bold storytelling and distinctive voice left an enduring impact.

44. Deana Carter (Born 1966):

Deana Carter’s debut album “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” became a commercial success in the mid-’90s. Hits like “Strawberry Wine” and “We Danced Anyway” showcased her unique blend of country and folk influences.

45. Lee Ann Rimes (Born 1982):

Bursting onto the country scene as a teenager, Lee Ann Rimes’s powerful vocals garnered widespread acclaim. Her rendition of “Blue” and hits like “How Do I Live” showcased her remarkable talent and range.

Last Words 

From the pioneering days of Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline to the modern sounds of Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price, female country singers have played an integral role in shaping the genre. Their powerful vocals, passionate storytelling, and trailblazing spirit have left an indelible mark in the hearts of fans worldwide. As we celebrate the 45 greatest female singers of all time, it’s clear that their contributions have not only enriched country music but also paved the way for future generations of talented women to continue the legacy of this timeless genre.

Related Articles

Back to top button