Lettuce and tomato, am I right, ladies? These were some of the women that Kelly Clarkson name-checked in her spontaneous rant on the state of country radio from earlier this year. Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, two of the enduring stars of mainstream country, both got their start in the mids, a time when women and women-fronted groups were not exactly rarities on the airwaves. One reason for the year overview is to look at how much the sound of country has changed: mainstream country has always shifted with the winds of other popular music genres including and especially, well, pop music , and you can hear that evolution over the span of two decades. Some of these singles were critically lauded; others, less so. As with everything country, the charts only tell part of the story. So without further ado, here are 20 influential, important, and all-around significant country hits by women from the past 20 years. Newswire Powered by.
"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"
Women have ruled the country charts for decades by singing about far more than just love and heartache. Twain embraces her inner feminist in this Grammys-winning single. Lambert's upbringing as the daughter of two private investigators who took in battered women is part of the inspiration for this fiery tune. Promising to greet her abusive partner with a loaded shotgun while she "wait[s] by the door and light[s] a cigarette," she'll greet the guy on his homecoming from jail with a lesson on "what little girls are made of: gunpowder and lead. Newton-John was well into her 50s when she recorded "Phenomenal Woman," which makes the song all the more meaningful. The cancer survivor included this song on her Stronger Than Before album, with proceeds benefiting cancer research. This feisty single reminds the men in our lives that turnabout really is fair play. With its laundry list of offenses that are generally deemed appropriate only for the male gender -- including losing track of time while drinking beer, leaving clothing scattered throughout the house and prioritizing a ballgame over your significant other -- this song went to the top of the charts.
Lindsay Ell, Cam, and Kacey Musgraves all released superb songs that deserved to be radio hits. Right now, it seems almost mythical: just 20 years ago, it was not only conceivable to tune into a country radio station and hear a woman singing, it was highly likely. The ears of the country consumer seemed to appreciate, demand and even prefer the voices of women. Since then — in the past decade in particular — that trend took a sharp decline.
It's not always easy being a woman in the music business, but these women have done a great job at putting themselves out there with their art and their best work. Though the women on this list may come from different sub genres, like country pop , or from different decades, one thing's for sure: They reach out to ears across the world who love their music. Which song performed by a woman is the best? Vote up the best female country songs below, or add one you think is the best if it isn't already on the list. Classic Dolly Parton song in which a woman begs another to stop having an affair with her husband. Patsy Cline's lonesome and iconic voice helped this tune become a classic. This emotional song was a hit for Lee Ann Womack that is still played at life's many special occasions. A Shania crossover hit that appealed to both mainstream and country audiences with its country roots and romantic notions. Faith Hill also burst onto the scene in the s, carving out a large chunk of the country scene for herself with "Breathe" and other hits. Jolene Dolly Parton Classic Dolly Parton song in which a woman begs another to stop having an affair with her husband.