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No. 7: Tammy Wynette – Country’s Most Powerful Women of All Time

Tammy Wynette‘s name is a necessary inclusion to any discussion about country music’s greatest women, and her resume and legacy certainly earned her a high spot on this list of country music’s most powerful females.

The “Stand By Your Man” hitmaker helped define the women’s movement in country music. The mid-’60s and 1970s were a time of transition for the country female. Modern hitmakers like Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert owe a debt to bold decisions women like Wynette and Dolly Parton made. For so many decades females were caricatures, instead of personalities with a full range of emotions and freedoms.

As is the case, country music was slow to realize a change in culture until songs like “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” “Golden Ring” and “D.I.V.O.R.C.E” bashed through presumptions. Wynette would notch nearly two dozen No. 1 hits and many more in the Top 5 and Top 10 during a career remarkable for its longevity and phases. Professional and personal paths often merged and separated again, most famously with her marriage and divorce from George Jones.

Multiple Grammys and Female Vocalist of the Year wins pad a list of accolades that posthumously includes induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Wynette died young, too young. One suspects that at 55 years old she had more to offer musically, and certainly with lessons the next generation could borrow from as they once again try to push through locked doors.

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Next: See All 30 of Country Music's Most Powerful Female Singers

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