List: Female Country Singers
Female Country Singers: My Top Eight
From Patsy Cline to Reba McEntire to the Dixie Chicks, women have made Country-Western music what it is today. There are so many women who have worked hard in a man's world to rise to the top of the Country-Western charts. I picked my eight favorites and added a few more who just have to be mentioned. I hope you enjoy this list and the accompanying videos as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
My hat goes off to all of you women of Country music. Your hard work has paid off!
1. Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline was one of the first female Country singers. She is, without a doubt, a legend for all time. Patsy was born September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her real name was Virginia Patterson Hensley. Her big break in the Country music world came in 1957, with the song "Walkin' After Midnight." In 1958, Patsy joined the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville. She died tragically, in an airplane crash in 1963 when she was only 30.
Patsy's greatest hits include:
- "I Fall to Pieces"
- "She's Got You"
- "Sweet Dreams"
2. Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn was born April 14, 1935 in Kentucky. She is best known as the "Coal Miner's Daughter." Just like Patsy Cline, Loretta is a legend among female Country music singers. She had her first hit in 1960, with the song "Honky Tonk Girl." By the 1970s, she was one of the richest women in Country music. She is famous for many songs, including:
- "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)"
- "Before I'm Over You"
- "Coal Miner's Daughter"
3. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton was born January 19, 1946 in Tennessee. As a young child, she sang in church and for a local radio station. She joined the Grand Ole Opry show at the age of 20, and her first success in Nashville was as a songwriter. In 1966 she had her first single, "Dumb Blond," and then that same year recorded "Something Fishy" and "Hello, I'm Dolly." Since then, she has gone on to make a big for name herself, both in the Country music industry and as a comedic actress.
Some of Dolly's hits include:
- "9 to 5"
- "I Will Always Love You"
4. Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless was born in Kentucky as Patty Lee Ramey on January 4, 1957. Her first hit single in the Country music world was the 1985 recording, "Lonely Days and Lonely Nights." Her second hit single came a year later when she released "I Did." Patty went on to release her first album, Patty Loveless, on October 1, 1986. From there, she went on to produce many more albums.
Her big hit singles include:
- "Don't Toss Us Away"
- "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye"
- "You Don't Even Know Who I Am"
5. Suzy Bogguss
Suzy was born December 30, 1956 in Illinois. She started singing in her hometown church and released her first singles in 1987: "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire," "Love Will Never Slip Away," and "Come As You Are." She went on to make many more successful albums. Bogguss owns her own record label, Loyal Dutchess.
Some of her most popular recorded singles are:
- "Somewhere Between"
- "Someday Soon"
- "Outbound Plane"
6. Reba McEntire
Reba was born March 28, 1955 in Oklahoma. She had her first hit on the singles chart in 1976 with "I Don't Want to Be a One Night Stand." Her first album was called Reba McEntire and her second was Out of a Dream. Reba's Country music career has been very successful. Her album My Kind of Country brought her break-out success. Some of the hits from that album include:
- "How Blue"
- "Somebody Should Leave"
7. Faith Hill
Faith was born Audrey Faith Perry on September 21, 1967 in Mississippi. She is one of the most successful Country singers, male or female. Her first album, Take Me As I Am, was released in 1993. She released her second album, It Matters To Me, in 1995. From there, Hill went on to make her name in country music. Her first international hit was "The Kiss." Her 1999 album Breathe went platinum and remains one of the biggest-selling Country records of all time. Some of her other hits include:
- "There You'll Be"
- "Mississippi Girl"
- "Like We Never Loved at All"
Faith is married to Country singer Tim McGraw and the couple has recorded several duets, including "I Need You" and "Shotgun Rider."
8. Shania Twain
Twain was born as Eileen Regina Edwards on August 28, 1965 in Windsor, Ontario. Her mother and father divorced and she was adopted by her stepfather, Jerry Twain. Her first album was called Shania Twain. She went on to release her second album, The Women In Me, in 1995. In 1997 she produced Come On Over, and in 2002 she relased Up. In 2004 Twain released an album of greatest hits. Some of those singles include:
- "Party of Two"
- "I Ain't No Quitter"
In 2004 Twain retired from performing, explaining that her singing voice was weakening, but after receiving treatment for vocal cord lesions she returned to the stage in 2012 with a concert at Caesar's Palace.
More Great Women of Country Western!
Trish Yearwood's debut single "She's in Love with the Boy" launched her to fame on the Country-Western charts. She has since released ten albums, including the number one singles:
- "Walkaway Joe"
- "The Song Remembers When"
- "Thinkin' About You"
- "I'll Still Love You More"
Terri Clark released her first album in 1995. Both that self-titled album and the two that followed, Just the Same and How I Feel went platinum in both the U.S. and Canada. Some of her Top Ten Country-Western hits include:
- "When Boy Meets Girl"
- "If I Were You"
- "Suddenly Single"
Wynonna first rose to fame in the 1980s, singing with her mother Naomi in the Country-Western duo the Judds. Recording together, the Judds had 14 number one hits and recorded seven albums. As a solo artist, Wynonna dropped her last name. In 1992 she sang alone at the American Music Awards, performing "She Is His Only Need." The single jumped to number one on the Billboard country singles charts that year. Some of her other hits include:
- "I Saw the Light"
- "My Strongest Weakness"
- "No One Else on Earth"
LeAnn Rimes was a child star, rising to fame at the age of 13 for her recording of "Blue." Some of her other hit singles include:
- "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)"
- "The Cattle Call"
- "The Light in Your Eyes"
The Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks are composed of Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison (who are sisters), and lead singer Natalie Maines. Some early successes were the 1998 hits "There's Your Trouble" and "Wide Open Spaces." In 2003 the band openly denounced the U.S. invasion of Iraq. While many American Country-Western music lovers boycotted their albums after that, they released Taking the Long Way in 2007, which won that year's Grammy for Album of the Year. The single "Not Ready to Make Nice" also won a Grammy that year.
Emmylou Harris has won 13 Grammys over the course of her career. Her early recordings include the album Grievous Angel, recorded with Gram Parsons in 1973. She recorded with Hot Band to make the album Pieces of the Sky, which included a cover of Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down." In 1980 she recorded "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" with Roy Orbison. That duo's recordings won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
Female Country-Western Singers: The List Goes On
There are so many amazing women Country-Western singers! Thank you to all of you who have sent me names that were not on my list. Please send me and I will try to include them! Here are some of the great female singers you have mentioned in the comments:
- Carrie Underwood
- Sara Evans
- Lee Ann Womack
- Martina McBride
- Barbara Mandrell
- Dottie West
- Lynn Anderson
- Janie Fricke
- Anne Murray
- Crystal Gayle
- Kitty Wells
- KD Lang
- Bonnie Raitt
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