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Top 10 Classic Female Country Songs

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Hannah Godden Grab that guitar and come sit by the fire! Join MsMojo as we countdown down our picks for the Top 10 Classic Female Country Songs For this list, we’ll be looking at the most popular country tunes by female artists of the 20th century. We will only be excluding popular covers such as The Dixie Chicks’ rendition of “Landslide”, while everything else is fair game! Time to get your feet a-tappin’! Special thanks to our user, mac121mr0 for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.MsMojo.tv
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Transcript

Top 10 Classic Female Country Songs


Grab that guitar and come sit by the fire! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting our picks for the top ten classic female country songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most popular country tunes by female artists of the 20th century. We will only be excluding popular covers such as The Dixie Chicks’ rendition of “Landslide”, while everything else is fair game! Time to get your feet a-tappin’!

#10: “Breathe” (1999)
Faith Hill


Faith Hill’s modern country love song spent six weeks at number one on Billboard’s hot country chart when it was released. The simple yet beautiful lyrics, combined with a subtle country twang, also made it a huge crossover hit, similar to her earlier country pop song “This Kiss” which earned Hill two Grammy nominations. The sultry video for “Breathe”, featuring Hill rolling around in the desert, became one of her most controversial. But, whether you’re in the desert or sitting on the back porch, this is a perfect ballad for a quiet night with the Tim McGraw in your life...

#9: “She's in Love with the Boy” (1991)
Trisha Yearwood


This country ballad tells a classic tale of love in a small town – boy meets girl, girl’s father disapproves, until Momma puts him straight and they all live happily ever after. It might be cheesy, but how could we not love it? It's relatable, it's miiiiildly rebellious, and it has a melody that you just can't help but sing along to. This was Trisha Yearwood’s debut single and it carried her straight to number one. The clever lyrics and super-sweet love story brought her fame to an international scale and kicked off a career that is still going strong to this day.

#8: “Delta Dawn” (1972)
Tanya Tucker


This immensely popular country song has been covered by more artists than you can shake a hickory twig at, but Tanya Tucker’s original version was undeniably the most successful. It tells the story of a local, middle-aged woman who never managed to get over “the one that got away”. Tucker was just thirteen years old when this single brought her to fame, yet her powerful vocals compliment the sad tale perfectly. Its catchy chorus and key change mean it will be on replay for hours after you’ve heard it. You’ve been warned!

#7: “Any Man of Mine” (1995)
Shania Twain


In 1995 “Any Man of Mine” became Shania Twain’s first country chart number one, and it’s easy to see why: what’s not to love? Great lyrics, a perfect country twang, and the best double-denim outfit for miles around! Co-written by her producer and eventual ex-husband “Mutt” Lange, then best known as the producer behind artists like AC/DC and Def Leppard, critics were especially fond of this one, and rewarded it with Grammy noms and Canadian Country Music Award wins. “You’re Still the One” may have been Shania's most successful crossover hit but “Any Man of Mine” certainly set the bar high for fans as well as her next suitor, although whether or not he impressed her much is another story altogether.

#6: “How Do I Live” (1997)
LeAnn Rimes


LeAnn Rimes’ angelic voice kept this single in the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a whopping 69 weeks! This emotionally charged ballad was commissioned by Touchstone Pictures for a little romance picture known as... well, actually it was Con Air... but in a second odd move the studio opted to not use the recording as Rimes was only fourteen at the time. Trisha Yearwood was chosen to take the reins instead and the single was so successful her label killed it, worrying it would hurt album sales. Rimes’ manager- her father, Wilbur Rimes- quickly released her version to mainstream radio instead – it went on to not only surpass Yearwood's take but become the top selling country song of all time.

#5: “Fancy” (1969)
Bobbie Gentry


While it saw more fame through country superstar Reba McEntire, Bobby Gentry, who described the song as a record for women’s empowerment, made countrymusic history when she originally recorded “Fancy” in 1969. Written by Gentry herself, the song tells the story of Fancy, recounting her troubled past, which includes her dying mother and a turn to prostitution. The dark themes didn’t negatively affect the track’s commercial success however, as it topped the Canadian country chart and became a major crossover hit for the artist, on top of being one of the most important records of the genre.

#4: “Crazy” (1961)
Patsy Cline


Don’t worry, here she is! How could we leave out this incredible voice and iconic tune? Willie Nelson- yes, that Willie Nelson- wrote and later recorded this sweeping, jazz-tinged ballad, but he confessed that Cline’s version was his favourite, describing the cover as “magic” – and how right he was. The song’s intricate melodies suit Cline's voice perfectly and although many country music stars have covered this track, none have topped Patsy. Just before releasing “Crazy”, Cline scored her first country #1 with the equally gorgeous “I Fall to Pieces”.

#3: “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” (1968)
Tammy Wynette


The country music scene of the sixties had many things going for it but was missing something – a woman’s perspective. And how wonderfully did Tammy Wynette fill that gap! She truly made this song into a classic, hitting #1 on the country charts and crossing over to #63 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tammy's sincere performance of the heart-wrenching lyrics makes the song relatable to every parent. Ironically Wynette followed up the story of a crumbling marriage with her other signature song, the often misunderstood “Stand by Your Man” which was also a country #1 and a cross-over pop top 20 track.

#2: “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1969)
Loretta Lynn


What a classic indeed! Loretta Lynn’s beautifully captivating song about her childhood has warmed the hearts of many. Lynn taught herself to play the guitar and wrote her own songs based on her personal life experiences, becoming the most awarded female artist in country music doing so. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a true country song about family roots and growing up in a working class household. Lynn’s gorgeous voice and gentle accent really let the listener feel her story, and the song even became the basis for a book and a movie about Lynn’s life.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorary mentions:

“A Broken Wing” (1997)
Martina McBride

“Wide Open Spaces” (1998)
Dixie Chicks

“Mama He’s Crazy” (1984)
The Judds

“Where’ve You Been?” (1989)
Kathy Mattea

“Rose Garden” (1970)
Lynn Anderson

“He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” (1993)
Mary Chapin Carpenter


#1: “I Will Always Love You” (1974)
Dolly Parton


Although Whitney Houston’s version of this song is more well known today, there’s no topping Dolly Parton’s original country masterpiece. She wrote it for her friend and mentor, Porter Wagner, when they parted ways and Dolly went solo. Even Elvis Presley wanted to sing this song, but Parton refused as his manager, Col. Tom Parker demanded she share the publishing royalties. While the song is undoubtedly Parton's most profitable song her most covered song is actually “Jolene”- a dark and quirky song that's bound to have you tapping your foot for hours after the music's stopped playing.

Do you agree with our list? Which other country queens would you add? For more fabulous top 10’s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo!

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