1. Dolly Parton – Is perhaps one of the most iconic ladies of country western music. Besides being a Grammy award winner for her album “Here You Come Again” in 1978, Parton is also well known for being an actress and a businesswoman. Parton has had a number one country single each decade for the last four decades. No other country singer can make claim to this accomplishment. Dolly Parton has appeared in seventeen movies. Perhaps the most memorable being Nine to Five. This feisty little woman has no designs on slowing down anytime soon. Dollywood is a thriving amusement park venture in the Smokey Mountains of Knoxville Tennessee. There is also a Dollywood Splash Country Water Adventure theme park in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Both parks reflect the fun country adventures that are the trademark one of one fun country gal.
2. Reba McIntyre – This soft spoken fiery headed country singer is like an unstoppable whirlwind. According to RIAA She ranks as the #2 best-selling female artist in all genres, and is the second best selling female country artist of all time. Talent does not end just at singing, Reba has appeared on Broadway and is the star of her own self titled TV series. Reba’s wisecracking character only hints at the songbird qualities of this country queen. Nominated for a Peoples Choice and a Golden Globe award seems to pale in comparison to the gold and multi-platinum records to her credit.
3. Shania Twain – According to RIAA Shania Twain is the top selling woman of country music for selling 48 million gold records. Twains album “Come on Over” is the best selling album by any country music history. Shania Twain was named Country entertainer of the year in 1999. Her beauty and vitality shows no signs in slowing down anytime soon. Twain has appeared for Revlon cosmetics and has released her own fragrance line. Not content with the label of sexy siren, music continues to take front and center in her life.
4. Patsy Cline – One of the Grand Ole Oprys best and brightest stars, no country lady can shine a light on the haunting voice of Patsy Kline. Best known for songs like “Crazy” and “I fall to Pieces”, Patsy Cline was gifted with the ability to sing with an emotionally melodic bravado . Patsy Kline lived equally dramatic life. Despite escaping near fatal accidents twice in her life the third time came in 1963 and her luck ran out. Even in death very popularity soared and she lives on as one of the most influential women of Country music today
5. Loretta Lynn – Loretta Lynn was one of the most popular country songbirds of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Lynn’s life story was the subject of the film “The Coal Miners Daughter” starring Sissy Spacek. Loretta Lynn was no stranger to controversy in 1973 her song Rated X touched on the stigma of divorced woman. Despite the difficulties of being a divorced woman her impressive achievement of 7 number one albums and 16 number one songs is something to be proud of. Lynn’s mansion which has been alleged to be haunted has appeared on several paranormal based websites and TV shows. Loretta’s haunted home is located in a small town she owns in Hurricane Mills Tennessee.
6. Dottie West – In 1960 Dottie West was breaking the country top ten with the song “Here Comes My Baby Back Again. West’s impressive voice and style was an inspiration to other female country stars like Barbara Mandrell and Tammy Wynette. Versatility paid off in the 70’s by writing commercials for Coke. West won a Clio award for her work on the Coke ad campaign for a song called “Country Sunshine. The song reached #2 on the country charts and was a crossover hit on the pop charts. Afterwards a series of duets with Kenny Rogers caused this country beauties achievements to shoot up the chart. Financial woes plagued the singer and kept her in the spotlight. Fashion did not escape the attention of this performer or her audiences. West was known for wearing tight spandex and very seductive tops. West died in 1991 in a car crash on the way to the Grand Ole Opry.
7. Emmy Lou Harris – Hardly a stranger to the limelight, Emmy Lou Harris most notable for working with several other high profile acts of pretty outstanding country clout. This country singer is in demand as a backup singer as well as a performer. Emmy Lou has twelve Grammy awards and three country music under her belt. This country belle also won the AMA lifetime achievement award in 2002. Emmy Lou never stopped touring, or so it seemed. In additions to benefits for veterans, Harris spent two years on the Lilith Fair tour promoting feminism in music.
8. Tammy Wynette – perhaps best known for her song ‘Stand By Year Man” Wynette had no shortage of songs that dealt with the difficulties of relationships. Wynette taught herself how to play country music on instruments left by her late father. Although she wanted to be a country star she was not supported by her first husband and the marriage ended. Finally she got her break but the road was far from easy. In 1969 she married George Jones and together they accomplished 17 number one hits. Even though her marriage ended she continued to perform with an impressive list of country artists such as Randy Travis and Elton John. In 1998 Wynette died in her sleep from blood clots. Wynette left a legacy that was thought to be one of the most influential of all female country artists.
9. Lee Ann Womack – Being a relative new comer to the country music scene Lee Ann Womack wasted no time getting to down to country music business. Her music and style has been compared to greats country singers like Dolly and Tammy Wynette. Womack adds an updated sound to country by incorporating pop music sound. Currently she has eleven albums to her credit, and equally as many awards for her achievements.
10. Crystal Gayle – Probably the only person on earth who has longer hair then I do. Who could forget the song “Don’t it Make your Brown Eyes Blue? Crystal is actually Loretta Lynn’s younger sister. With an impressive 15 awards and 18 number one hits we can definitely see the family resemblance between these two country gals. But Crystal isn’t afraid to try her hand at chart cross over’s either. In 2007 Crystal Gayle was involved with America’s Most Wanted in the manhunt for the perpetrator who stole her tour bus. Christopher Gay drove the tour bus all the way to Florida to park it next to Jeff Gordon. No doubt he was listening to the music of the beautiful song bird the whole way.
- RIAA Top Selling Artist Gold and Platinum. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
- Americas Most Wanted Christopher Gay AMW.com