While discussing country music and its impact on the history of music generally, it is also important that we highlight and extensively dissect the list of the top 5 female country musicians in the world. Country, as a music genre, originated in the Southern and Southwestern United States.
While country music primarily focuses on working class Americans and blue-collar American life, it was first produced in the 1920s. It is primarily rooted in various forms of American folk music, such as old-time music and Appalachian music, and many other traditions. This uncommon tradition include the Mexican, Irish, and Hawaiian music which have also had a formative influence on the genre.
With the music genre having diverse male artistes over its history that have given it identity and rhythm, there are also a number of female stars, both of old and new generations, that have joined the league. No doubt.
Below is a list of the top 5 female country musicians:
1. Dolly Parton
First, we have possibly the greatest of all time, Dolly Parton, who is one of the most recognizable names in music. She is a veteran in the industry, providing us with heartfelt songs since 1967. Parton’s hard work has paid off. Today she has had 44 albums reach the top 10 country albums list—a record amount for musicians, male or female.
Her work is highly recognized, even outside of the country music scene, with 11 Grammy Awards, 3 American Music Awards, and nominations for Academy, Tony, and Emmy Awards. And to recognize her, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for her outstanding work. She continues to work, not only as a singer but as a children’s book author and philanthropist, among many other roles.
2. Reba McEntire
Known as the Queen of Country, Reba McEntire has earned this title after releasing an astonishing 34 studio albums since her career started in 1977. McEntire has created a career around songs about love, heartbreak, and family. These themes are also seen in her work as an actress. She most famously portrayed Reba Hart, a divorced mother trying to find her way, on the WB Network.
McEntire’s singing and acting careers have seen huge success and recognition. In honor of her work, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame by a friend and fellow country music star, Dolly Parton.
3. Loretta Lynn
The long and successful career of 18x Grammy Award–winner Loretta Lynn began in the 1950s when she began singing in small clubs in her area. Six decades of performing later, Lynn is the most-awarded female country recording artist of all time.
A trailblazer for female country artists, Lynn was one of the first women to sell 500,000 albums with her album Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin (With Lovin On Your Mind). Her 60-year career is nearly unparalleled, with a whopping 50 studio albums to show for it. Remarkably, she toured until the age of 85. While she stays closer to home now, she is still actively putting out new music.
4. Patsy Cline
She was born during the Great Depression. The early life of our next singer, Patsy Cline, was marked with hardship. Yet, with determination, she became one of the most influential country singers in history and helped define the Nashville Sound with her bold and haunting voice.
In 1961, she captured the hearts of listeners across the globe with “Crazy.” Not only did it take the second spot on the Country chart, but it was also a crossover hit, landing at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, Cline’s promising career was cut short by a tragic plane crash on March 5, 1963. Her untimely death sent shockwaves through the music community. She was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a testament to her lasting influence on the genre.
5. Shania Twain
Canadian-born Shania Twain was born in Ontario but moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was 28 to pursue a country music career. Twain’s upbeat and twangy vocals, combined with her punchy rock-and-roll instrumentals, captured the hearts of country music lovers and rock lovers alike, propelling her to chart-topping success.
Today, she has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female country artist of all time. This feat is particularly impressive, given that she has released only five studio albums since her career started in 1993. Because of her multi-genre work, the Country Music Hall of Fame created an exhibit in her honor titled “Shania Twain: Rock This Country.”