The 20 Greatest Female Country Singers Of All Time - Musician Wave (2023)

By Brian Clark Last Updated: February 13, 2023

The 20 Greatest Female Country Singers Of All Time - Musician Wave (1)

Besides playing a key role in the popularity of country music, these singers have become legends in their own right. In this list, I’ll be going over the top 20 female country singers of all time.

1. Dolly Parton

Over the course of a long and highly successful career, Dolly Parton has cemented her place as an icon of the country music industry. With over 100 million record sales, including 25 Billboard no. 1, and 44 Top 10 country albums, Parton is one of country music’s greatest artists of all time. She has also won many prestigious awards including 11 Grammy awards.

While she may have achieved her sales peak in the 1970s and 80s, her music continues to be celebrated today. Parton wrote many of her greatest hits, such as “I Will Always Love You”, “Coat of Many Colors”. “Jolene”, and “9 to 5”.

2. Shania Twain

The best-selling female singer in country music history, Shania Twain has sold over 100 million records. Her third studio album became the best-selling studio album of any artist and included some of her best-known hits such as “You’re Still the One”, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” “From This Moment On”, and “That Don’t Impress Me Much”.

Twain has received five Grammy Awards, a World Music Award, and is the only female singer to have three consecutive albums that are certified Diamond. Besides being one of the most successful country female singers, Twain is credited with leading the country-pop crossover.

3. Carrie Underwood

(Video) Top 20 Greatest Country Songs of All Time

Carrie Underwood rapidly rose to prominence after winning American Idol in 2005. The only country artist to debut in the Billboard Hot 100, Underwood has sold over 70 million records and won numerous accolades.

Her hits include songs such as “Cowboy Casanova”, “Before He Cheats” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel”. She has also enjoyed notable success as a gospel singer and is famous for her wide vocal range and power.

4. Reba McEntire

A legend of the country music industry, Reba McEntire has been active since the 1970s. During her long career, she has sold over 75 million records and has had 25 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Her hits include songs such as “(You LIft Me) Up to Heaven”, “I’m Not That Lonely Yet” and “Can’t Even Get the Blues”. McEntire is noted for incorporating other genres into her music.

5. Patsy Cline

Although Patsy Cline’s career was tragically cut short at the age of 30, her eight-year recording career cemented her place as one of the most influential singers of the 20th century. She was also one of the first country music singers to cross over to pop music.

Cline is famous for songs such as “I Fall to Pieces”, “Walking After Midnight” and “Crazy”, which is regarded as a country music classic. Cline had a powerful contralto voice and was acclaimed for the emotion she brought to her singing.

6. Tammy Wynette

One of the most famous country stars of the 1960s and 1970s, Tammy Wynette was known as the “Heroine of Heartbreak” due to the emotional delivery of her songs. Her most famous song is arguably “Stand by Your Man”, which also proved controversial with feminists.

Wynette had many other hits, including “Singing My Song”, “My Man (Understands)”. “Kids Say the Darndest Things” and “Til I Can Make It on My Own”, all of which topped the Billboard country music chart. Wynette continued to enjoy success into the 80s.

7. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a modern-day pop icon who got her start in country music when she moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14. Over 200 million record sales have made her one of the best-selling musicians of all time. She has also garnered numerous accolades during her career.

(Video) Gretchen Wilson - Redneck Woman

The holder of 58 Guinness World Records, Swift is a leading crossover artist and songwriter whose career has spawned hits such as “Love Story”, “You Belong with Me”, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, “Shake It Off” and “Bad Blood”.

8. Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert rose to prominence after winning third place on the Nashville Star television program. Since then, she has won three Grammy Awards, six Country Music Association Awards, and has received more Academy of Country Music Awards than any other artist.

She has released 14 albums and her hits include “Me and Charlie Talking”, “Kerosene”, “The House That Built Me”. “Heart Like Mine”, “Automatic”, “Fastest Girl in Town”, and “Bluebird.”

9. Martina McBride

Martine McBride got her big break thanks to Garth Brooks who offered to make her his opening act if she got a recording contract. She signed to RCA Records in 1991 and quickly became known for her powerful soprano voice.

During the course of her career, McBride has transitioned to crossover sound, with five No. 1 singles on the Billboard country chart and one No. 1 single on the adult contemporary charts. She has 14 Grammy Award nominations. “Safe in the Arms of Love”, “Wrong Again”, “I Love You”, “There You Are” and “This One’s for the Girls” are some of her best-known songs.

10. Loretta Lynn

In a career spanning six decades, Loretta Lynn has succeeded in becoming the most awarded female country singer ever. A country music legend, she has 18 Grammy Award nominations and 3 wins to her name, as well as seven American Music Awards, and 12 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Her famous hits include “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”, “One’s on the Way” and “Fist City”. A Kennedy Center Honors recipient, she was also the first female country singer to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

11. Faith Hill

With sales of over 40 million albums, Faith Hill has become one of the most successful country music artists. Her first two albums yielded three number-one hits, while her two subsequent albums enabled her to achieve mainstream success.

These albums resulted in huge crossover hits such as “Breathe” and “The Way You Love Me”. Hill is a highly awarded singer, with many awards under her belt. Her other hits include “This Kiss”, “There You’ll Be”, and “Mississippi Girl”.

(Video) Little Big Town - Pontoon

12. Sara Evans

Sara Evans is a county music singer and writer who has sold over six million albums and has had five No. 1 hits. She has incorporated different country styles in her music, shifting towards a more contemporary country music identity before moving to a more rock and pop-inspired sound.

Critics have described her as a vocal powerhouse with an easily identifiable voice. Her number one singles include “Born to Fly”, “Suds in the Bucket” and “A Real Fine Place to Start”.

13. Linda Ronstadt

Hailed by critics as the greatest vocalist of her generation, Linda Ronstadt is one of the most successful female singers of all time. While she has achieved great success as a country singer, Rondstadt also performed songs in many diverse genres such as rock and Latin.

During the course of a career where she sold over 100 million albums, she also accumulated many awards. She is known for her considerable vocal range, clear voice, and definitive interpretation of famous cover songs. Her hits include “Blue Bayou”. “It’s So Easy” and “When Will I Be Loved”.

14. June Carter Cash

June Carter Cash was not only a famous country music singer and songwriter but also achieved success as an actress, dancer, and comedian. She released just three solo albums, including “Press On” for which she won a Grammy.

Many of her songs were duets with her husband Johnny Cash. A five-time Grammy Awards winner, Carter Cash’s hits included “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Jackson” and “Jukebox Blues”.

15. Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves has had a highly successful country music career, winning six Grammy Awards and seven Country Music Awards.

She self-released three solo albums, but it was her fourth album Golden Hour which shot her to fame and earned her four Grammy Awards. Some of her hits include “Space Cowboy”, “Butterflies” and “High Horse”.

16. Emmylou Harris

(Video) Luke Combs - When It Rains It Pours

During the course of her long career, Emmylou Harris has succeeded in gaining 48 Grammy Award nominations, winning 14 times. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and has also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her songs such as “Together again” and “Sweet Dreams” have topped the country charts. She achieved her greatest success after partnering with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt for the album Trio.

17. LeAnn Rimes

Since coming to prominence as a country music singer at the age of 13, LeAnn Rimes has sold over 37 million records and has over 40 singles that have reached international charts.

Apart from country music, she has also had significant success with pop, Christian, and other genres. Her hits include pop numbers such as “How Do I Live” as well as “I Need You” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.”

18. Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss’ talent was recognized at an early age and she recorded her first song at the age of 14. Possessing a soprano voice that has been described as angelic, Krauss has earned 42 Grammy Award nominations, winning 27 times, making her the most awarded female artist ever.

She has released 14 albums and has been featured on numerous soundtracks. Her music often includes bluegrass influences. ‘Steel Rails”, “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart”, and”Stay” are some of her hits.

19. Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini began songwriting as a child and her first two albums have yielded seven charted songs. She has succeeded in scoring four No. 1 singles, including her debut single which made her the first artist since Carrie Underwood to do so. Her hits have included “Love Me Like You Mean It”, “Dibs”, “Peter Pan” and “Legends”.

20. Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood is a country singer who rose to fame following the success of her debut hit single, “She’s in Love with the Boy”, which topped the Billboard country singles chart in 1991. She subsequently had many other major hits, including “Walkaway Joe”, “The Song Remembers When” and “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)”.

Yearwood enjoyed further commercial success, while her 2005 studio record “Jasper Country” became her fastest-selling album in the United States.

(Video) John Michael Montgomery - Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) (Official Music Video)


The enduring talents of these ladies have been a major reason for the appeal of country music. which they have succeeded in bringing to new audiences around the world. Many female country artists have transcended their genre and topped international charts. While country music has developed greatly thanks to their efforts, these iconic singers will be remembered by fans of music for decades to come.

Dolly Parton Featured Image (Left) by: Curtis Hilbun, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Shania Twain Featured Image (Right) by: Condé Nast (through Vogue Taiwan), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The 20 Greatest Female Country Singers Of All Time - Musician Wave? ›


Canadian Shania Twain's 77.4 million global sales make her the bestselling female country artist of all time.

Who is best selling female country artist of all time? ›


Canadian Shania Twain's 77.4 million global sales make her the bestselling female country artist of all time.

What female country singer has the most number one hits? ›

Dolly Parton (USA) has scored 109 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, as verified on 18 October 2021 when “Does He Love You”, a duet with Reba McEntire, debuted at No.

Who are the female country music legends? ›

Top 10 Women in Country Music History
  • Kitty Wells. ...
  • Patsy Cline. ...
  • Tammy Wynette. ...
  • Dottie West. ...
  • Dolly Parton. ...
  • Reba McEntire. ...
  • Wynonna Judd. ...
  • Taylor Swift.
Mar 19, 2021

Who are the top 10 female vocalist of all time? ›

The top 10 greatest female singers of all time, according to...
  1. Celine Dion. The inspiration behind this list is the fabulous Celion Dion, of course. ...
  2. Etta James. ...
  3. Madonna. ...
  4. Adele. ...
  5. Aretha Franklin. ...
  6. Cher. ...
  7. Whitney Houston. ...
  8. Mariah Carey.
Jan 5, 2023

What female country singer has won the most awards? ›

Miranda Lambert is the most awarded female vocalist with seven wins. 2009 honoree Taylor Swift has also won Entertainer of the Year twice.

Who is the most popular country singer ever? ›

1. Tim McGraw. What is this? Along with being one of the most famous and influential country singers, Tim McGraw is also a talented actor, guitarist, and record producer.

Who has the most #1 country hits? ›

As of 2015, George Strait holds the record for the most country number-one singles with 44.

What is the biggest selling country song of all time? ›

Top 10 selling country songs of all time
  • I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack.
  • Jolene, Dolly Parton.
  • Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw.
  • Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning), Alan Jackson.
  • Concrete Angel, Martina McBride.
  • Choices, George Jones.
  • Friends in Low Places, Garth Brooks.
  • I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash.
Feb 6, 2020

Who is the real queen of country music? ›

But Loretta Lynn wasn't just the “Queen of Country Music,” she was among the greatest of all songwriters.

Who is the legendary woman singer? ›

19 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Female Singers
  • Madonna.
  • Beyoncé
  • Cher.
  • Whitney Houston.
  • Aretha Franklin.
  • Dolly Parton.
  • Tina Turner.
  • Taylor Swift.
Feb 17, 2023

Who is the queen mother of country music? ›

Mae Boren Axton (September 14, 1914 – April 9, 1997) was known in the music industry as the "Queen Mother of Nashville." She co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit single "Heartbreak Hotel" with Tommy Durden.

Who is the oldest female singer with #1 hit? ›

It broke three UK chart records in the process. With 44 years since her last number one, "Wuthering Heights" in 1978, Bush surpassed Tom Jones's 42-year gap between number ones and replaced Cher as the oldest female solo chart-topping artist at 63 years and 11 months.

Which female singer has the most fans? ›

Madonna is believed to have sold the most records among any female music artists in history, with 300 million records sold worldwide.

What female country singers have won the most Grammys? ›

In addition, he is one of only 15 artists to have received the GRAMMY Legend Award. Alison Krauss is the top female artist with the most Grammys. She also holds the same distinction in the country field. Krauss shares 14 of her wins with her backing band of nearly 30 years, Union Station.

Who has the most iconic female voice? ›

Top 10 Most Iconic Female Singer Voices
  1. Aretha Franklin. Known as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin's voice pretty much defined the 1960s. ...
  2. Amy Winehouse. ...
  3. Ella Fitzgerald. ...
  4. Kate Bush. ...
  5. Madonna. ...
  6. Adele. ...
  7. Joni Mitchell. ...
  8. Lady Gaga.

What female singers can hit 5 octaves? ›

Mariah Carey

This international superstar has a vocal range covering five octaves, which is not bad! Her whistle register is particularly impressive. Of course, she sings well in her chest and head voices, too. Hear her hit E7 in her song "Emotions".

What female country singer turned pop? ›

Dolly Parton

After trying throughout the '70s to score crossover success, she became a mainstream pop culture figure in 1981, when her iconic song "9 to 5" hit #1 on the pop charts.

Who wrote the most #1 country songs? ›

George Strait

Indeed, George Strait is known as the “King of Country.” Also, he is one of the most influential recording artists of all time. He, on the other hand, is one of the artists to bring country music back to its roots. And as mentioned above, he holds the record of having the most number one singles.

Who is the highest paid country singer? ›

Topping out at the number one spot is Dolly Parton. The artist with the top net worth is considered by many to be the “Queen of Country.”

What country singer has the most top 10 hits? ›

Dolly Parton has released 93 songs to the Hot Country Songs chart's Top 50, 54 of which reached the Top 10, and 25 of which hit No. 1.

What country song stayed number one the longest? ›

"Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt spends a record-breaking 34 consecutive weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Who has the most number one songs of all time? ›

The Beatles have the most No. 1 hits of all time: 20. Though unclear for how long, the Beatles still reign supreme as the artist with the most No. 1 songs of all time.

Who wrote the most number one songs? ›

Most number one singles by a songwriter (US/UK)

The most successful songwriters in terms of number one singles are John Lennon (1940-80) and Paul McCartney (b. 18 Jun 1942).

Who is humming Queen of music? ›


Who are the 3 queens of country music? ›

This is a listening must for every aficionado of country music. The outstanding 52 foot-stomping tracks feature three of the best performers to have graced the bluegrass stage - Kathy Mattea, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn.

Who is considered the Queen of rock? ›

The legacy of Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll' Tina Turner was a legendary performer who died this week at the age of 83. Some people think she didn't get the credit she truly deserved.

What female singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? ›

The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Franklin was an artist of passion, sophistication and command, whose recordings remain anthems that defined soul music.

Who are the three legendary singers? ›

10 Best Singers of All Time That You'll Never Forget
  • Lata Mangeshkar. Source: Times of India. ...
  • Mohammad Rafi. ...
  • Kishore Kumar. ...
  • Asha Bhosle. ...
  • Mukesh. ...
  • Jagjit Singh. ...
  • Manna Dey. ...
  • Usha Uthup.
Feb 25, 2020

Who is the god gifted singer? ›


What is considered the Mother Church of country music? ›

The Ryman is famous for being the Mother Church of Country Music, the birthplace of bluegrass, and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. It's where countless music careers were launched. It's a unique musical venue constructed with stunning acoustics and 130 years of history.

Who is the female singer with king and country? ›

Together (For King & Country, Tori Kelly and Kirk Franklin song) - Wikipedia.

Who was the king and queen of country music? ›

King and Queen of Country Music, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette.

Who is the No 1 female singer in world? ›

Madonna is recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Best-selling female recording artist of all time".

Who is considered the best country singer of all time? ›

Hank Williams

With over fifty top 10 country hits, including “Move It On Over” and “Jambalaya,” he is considered by many to be the greatest country singer of all time. After getting his start on the radio, MGM Records signed Williams in 1947.

Who is known as the best country singer? ›

18 Of The Greatest and Most Famous Country Singers Of All Time
  • Tim McGraw.
  • George Strait.
  • Johnny Cash.
  • Garth Brooks.
  • Carrie Underwood.
  • Blake Shelton.
  • Luke Bryan.
  • Keith Urban.
Dec 12, 2022

Who is the #1 country artist? ›

Morgan Wallen Becomes The Top Country Artist In The World.

Who has the most records sold all time? ›

Top-selling artists worldwide as of 2022

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.

What country singer has the most number one hits? ›

As of 2015, George Strait holds the record for the most country number-one singles with 44.

What are the top 5 country singers all time? ›

Top 10 Best Country Singers of All Time
  1. 1 Johnny Cash John R. ...
  2. 2 George Strait George Harvey Strait Sr. is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. ...
  3. 3 Waylon Jennings. ...
  4. 4 George Jones. ...
  5. 5 Merle Haggard Merle Ronald Haggard was an American country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler.

Who is considered the king of country music? ›

George Harvey Strait Sr.

Given his influence on the genre, Strait been named the "King of Country Music by writers and music critics." Poteet, Texas, U.S. Pearsall, Texas, U.S. Strait's success began when his first single "Unwound" was a hit in 1981, helping introduce the neotraditional movement to the mainstream.

Who was the most popular country singer in the 1950s? ›

Patsy Cline

A list of the most famous country singers of the 1950s would be remiss not to include Patsy Cline. She influenced the future of country music. On top of this, she was one of the first country artists to cross over into pop.

What is the number one country song? ›

iTunes Top 100 Country Songs Chart

Sales chart of today's iTunes top 100 country songs 2023 is updated several times a day and was last updated Pacific Time. The current number one country song on iTunes is: Fast Car by Luke Combs.


1. Caro Emerald Live - A Night Like This @ Sziget 2012
(Sziget Festival)
2. Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde - Never Wanted To Be That Girl (Official Music Video)
(Carly Pearce)
3. Carly Pearce - What He Didn't Do (Official Music Video)
(Carly Pearce)
4. Linda Ronstadt - Tracks Of My Tears (Official Music Video)
5. Top 20 Worst TV Shows of the Century (So Far)
6. Morgan Wade - Take Me Away (Official Video)
(Morgan Wade)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated: 09/24/2023

Views: 5946

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.