5 Country Music Women Singers You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


These are the five country music women singers you need to know about right now. All of them are making waves in the country music scene and are worth checking out.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is a country music singer who has been active since the 1960s. Lynn has released over 70 albums and has won numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Country Album and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Lynn is known for her songs about the working class and her stories of her own life.

Her early life and career

Born in Kentucky in 1932, country music legend Loretta Lynn began writing and singing her own songs as a teenager. She rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s with hits like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “The Pill,” which pushed the boundaries of country music with their frank depictions of working-class life and women’s rights, respectively. Lynn’s career has spanned more than 50 years, and she remains one of the most celebrated and respected female country singers of all time.

Her most famous songs

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” is Loretta Lynn’s signature song, but it’s far from her only hit. The country legend has released more than 50 studio albums and countless chart-topping singles over the course of her decades-long career.

Here are five of Lynn’s most famous songs:

“Coal Miner’s Daughter”
“Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”
“One’s on the Way”
“The Pill”
“You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut with Hello, I’m Dolly in 1967. She is the most honored female country performer of all time. A force to be reckoned with in business, as well as music, Parton has her own perfume, Dolly Parton’s Tennessee Mountain Home (a museum and dinner theater), Dollywood (an amusement park), Dolly Parton’s Stampede (a dinner show), and Dollywood’s Splash Country (a water park), among other businesses.

Her early life and career

Dolly Parton was born on January 19, 1946, one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Owens. Growing up poor in rural Tennessee, she started singing and writing songs at an early age. When she was 10, she made her first public appearance on a local television talent show.

In 1964, Parton moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. She soon caught the attention of record producer Johnny Cash, who helped her secure a contract with Columbia Records. Her first single, “Dumb Blonde,” was released in 1967 and reached the Top 20 on the country charts.

Parton’s career took off in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a string of hits including “Joshua,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and “I Will Always Love You.” In 1974, she launched her own television variety show, Dolly!, which ran for two seasons on ABC. The following year, she starred in 9 to 5 (1980), her first major film role.

Her most famous songs

“I Will Always Love You”
“9 to 5”
Here are some of Dolly Parton’s most famous songs that have helped make her one of the most well-known country music female singers.

Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette was an American country music singer-songwriter and one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female artists of all time. Wynette was called the “First Lady of Country Music” and her best-known song, “Stand by Your Man”, is one of the best-known songs in the country music genre. Wynette was married to country music singer George Jones for 1969 until their divorce in 1975.

Her early life and career

Tammy Wynette was born Virginia Wynette Pugh in May 1941, in Tremont, Mississippi, the only child of Mildred Faye (née Knight; 1922–2004) and William Hollice Pugh (1917–1982). Wynette’s father was a farmer and local musician who died of a brain tumor when Wynette was nine months old. Her mother worked in an automobile assembly plant. As a young girl, Wynette taught herself to play piano by ear. Wynette attended Tremont High School, where she was an honor student and played basketball. A month before graduation, several months before her 18th birthday, she wed Euple Byrd.

Wynette taught fifth grade and then first grade before taking a job as a secretary at her local teenagers music group The Westernaires. She later attended beauty school in Tupelo, Mississippi; after graduating, she started working as a hairdresser. One of her clients through the years was country artist George Jones who would soon become Wynette’s second husband.

Her most famous songs

“Stand by Your Man” is a song co-written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill and recorded by Wynette. It was released on October 20, 1968, as the lead single from the album Stand by Your Man. The song became Wynette’s signature song and one of the most timeless country classics of all time.

In 2004, it was ranked No. 31 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music. In 2013, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 136 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and on NPR’s list of the 150 greatest songs made by women. It was both a commercial and critical success upon release, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and the Cashbox Country Singles chart in 1968, as well as peaking at number nineteen on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart.

“D-I-V-O-R-C-E” is a song written by Bobby Braddock, and first recorded by Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. Riley’s version reached number one on the U.S. country singles chart in December 1968, making her the first ever female country artist to score a US pop hit with a country song (Tammy Wynette would achieve this twice more with “Stand by Your Man” and “The Wonders You Perform”). It also peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart that same month.”D-I-V-O-R_C_E” became Tammy Wynette’s second major hit single after “Stand by Your Man”. Released in early 1969 as the second single from her album Take Me to Your World / D-I-V-O-R_C_E, it went to number one on both the U.S. country singles chart (her sixth consecutive chart topping single) and Cashbox pop singles chart that February, making Tammy Wynette only the second female country artist to have two US pop hits with Country songs after Jeannie C. Riley (who had achieved this seven months earlier with “Harper Valley PTA”). It also peaked at number 21 on Billboard’s Easy Listening survey.”D_I_R_T _Y _L _OV _E” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Tammy Wynette. It was released in February 1970 as the first single from her album Darlene.(Tammy later rerecorded Darlene with George Jones for their One album.) The song peaked at No._2 _on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart (now Hot Country Songs) and The Official UK Chart Top 30 Country Songs Chart.”

Reba McEntire

Reba Nell McEntire (born April 8, 1955) is an American country singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She began her career in the music industry as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on local radio shows with her siblings, and at rodeos. She released her first solo album in 1977 and released five additional studio albums under the Mercury Records label until 1983.

Her early life and career

Reba McEntire was born in McAlester, Oklahoma, to Jackie and Clark McEntire. She began singing as a child on local radio and television shows. After high school, she attended Oklahoma State University, where she studied music and sang in the country-western band Reba and the Resolutions. In 1974, she married Chris Bordenave and they divorced four years later. In 1976, she released her first album, Sing It Now, which was followed by another album in 1977. Her third album, Out of the Blue, was released in 1979 and contained her first hit single, “I Can’t Even Get the Blues.”

McEntire’s career took off in the early 1980s with a series of hit singles and albums. In 1981, she released her fourth album, Feel My Way to You, which contained her first number one single, “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” She followed that with a string of successful albums and singles through the rest of the decade. She also starred in several successful television movies during this time period.

In 1991, McEntire’s husband died in a plane crash. The following year, she released For My Broken Heart, an album dedicated to him. The album was a huge success and helped McEntire recover from her husband’s death. She has continued to release successful albums and singles throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Her most famous songs

“Whoever’s in New England”

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”

“Can’t Even Get the Blues”

“Why Haven’t I Heard from You”

“If You See Him/If You See Her” (with Brooks & Dunn)

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005 and is the fastest-selling debut country album by a female artist. Underwood has since released five more albums and has sold more than 64 million records worldwide.

Her early life and career

Carrie Underwood was born on March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and raised on her parents’ farm in nearby Checotah. She began performing at area talent shows and festivals at a young age and later worked at a local Sonic Drive-In fast-food restaurant to save money for college. In 2001 she competed on the television show American Idol—and won.

After signing with Arista Nashville Records, Underwood released her debut album Some Hearts in 2005. The album’s first single, “Inside Your Heaven,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Underwood the first country artist to ever debut at No. 1 on that chart. She followed up with the No. 1 hit “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2007.

Underwood’s next album, Carnival Ride (2007), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and featured such hits as “So Small,” “All-American Girl” and “Last Name.” She took home three more Grammy Awards in 2008—for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (“Last Name”), Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (“I’ll Stand by You”) and Best Country Instrumental Performance (“The Battle Hymn of the Republic/The Battle Hymn of Love”).

Her most famous songs

“Before He Cheats”
“All-American Girl”
“Last Name”
“Temporary Home”
“Jesus, Take the Wheel”

Carrie Marie Underwood is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005 and is the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history. Underwood has since released five more albums: Carnival Ride (2007), Play On (2009), Blown Away (2012), Storyteller (2015) and Cry Pretty (2018). She has won seven Grammy Awards, a record for a female artist, fourteen Billboard Music Awards and ten American Music Awards. She is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

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