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No. 15: Lee Ann Womack – Country’s Most Powerful Women of All Time

Twenty years after the release of her self-titled debut album, Lee Ann Womack continues to prove her place amongst country music’s all-time great female singers. A tremendously versatile voice and appreciation for truly deep songs elevate her above so many contemporaries.

Some will only remember “I Hope You Dance,” her all-time biggest hit and one of country music’s greatest. Womack was at her best when she embraced traditional country, however, something she did often before and after the I Hope You Dance album was released in 2000. It’s not been easy to get noticed when you sound more like Loretta Lynn than Mariah Carey, but each release has found the waiting ears it needed to find. She is a Grammy nomination magnet.

Radio charts don’t do Womack justice. She notched six Top 5 hits and several more inside the Top 20, but left song after song as an album cut, or for late-career Easter eggs fans could munch on for a lifetime. The Way I’m Livin‘ album received the critical praise in 2014 that There’s More Where That Came From earned in 2005. She’s an albums artist, which means she’s an artist first and foremost. That courage to remain honest to her influences and yearnings inspired a generation of new country females and left her contemporaries begging for more.

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