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Country Music’s 30 Most Powerful Women of All Time

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Great female country singers become icons with just a single name. Dolly, Reba, Shania, Loretta … no one will ever ask “Which one?” in a conversation about these powerful country women.

The list goes on: Patsy, Miranda, Tammy, Martina — even Taylor has a single moniker. There’s no need for the “Underwood” in Carrie Underwood. A Rosanne by any other name will get you trampled by women named Alison, Crystal and Gretchen — perhaps especially Gretchen.

Country music’s all-time greatest female artist is a mix of power and beauty. She’s a savvy business woman with a strong catalog of hits and a tremendous influence on the next generation. No one would dare to mess with her, yet somehow she’s universally regarded as one of the kindest figures the genre has ever known. Think you know who we’re talking about? Because that description could be used for a dozen different country women.

Commercial success, influence and career longevity were factors in deciding the best female singers in country music history. Pure vocals and sharp songwriting also weighed heavily, especially in deciding the Top 10. While there was tremendous debate about which artists to include, the Taste of Country staff and a panel of country experts didn’t debate No. 1.

Country Music’s 30 Most Powerful Women Ever:

Next: See 12 Modern Female Trailblazers

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