100 Greatest Women: 10th Anniversary Edition Ballot

100 Greatest Women: 10th Anniversary Edition

The Ballot

For the 2018 edition of Country Universe’s 100 Greatest Women, there are 166 artists under consideration.  Here is the full ballot of contenders.  Also included in the list, where applicable: their 2008 rank, their year of induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and recorded work released from 2008-2018.

Which women will make the biggest gains this time around? Who are you hoping to see make the list for the first time? Did we leave anyone off of the ballot that should be considered?

Let us know in the comments, and tune in next week as we kick off the tenth anniversary edition of 100 Greatest Women.

First Last CMHOF 2008 2008-2018 Work
Lauren Alaina Wildflower, Road Less Traveled
Deborah Allen Hear Me Now
Lynn Anderson 32 Cowgirl, Cowgirl II, Bridges
Kathy Baillie (Baillie & The Boys)
Kelsea Ballerini Kelsea Ballerini, The First Time, Unapologetically
Mandy Barnett Winter Wonderland, Sweet Dreams, I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson
Lulu Belle 48
Matraca Berg 56 The Dreaming Fields, Love’s Truck Stop
Suzy Bogguss 65 American Folk Songbook, Lucky, Aces Redux, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
Felice Bryant 1991 47
Wilma Burgess
Cam Heartforward, Untamed, Welcome to Cam Country
Paulette Carlson (Highway 101) 66
Mary Chapin Carpenter 29 Come Darkness, Come Light: 12 Songs of Christmas, The Age of Miracles, Ashes & Roses, Songs From the Movie, The Things That We are Made of, Sometimes Just the Sky (March 2018)
Martha Carson 94
Carlene Carter 61 Stronger, Carter Girl, Sad Songs and Hillbillies
Deana Carter 81 Southern Way of Life
Maybelle and Sara Carter 1970 3
June Carter Cash 39
Neko Case Middle Cyclone, The Worse Things Get…, case/lang/veirs
Rosanne Cash 20 The List, The River & The Thread
Kasey Chambers Rattlin’ Bones, Kasey Chambers, Poppa Bill, and the Little Hillbillies, Little Bird, Storybook, Wreck & Ruin, Bittersweet, Dragonfly
Brandy Clark 12 Stories, Big Day in a Small Town
Terri Clark 51 Live: Road Rage, The Long Way Home, Roots and Wings, Classic, Some Songs
Patsy Cline 1973 7
Jessi Colter 80 The Psalms
Elizabeth Cook Welder, Exodus of Venus
Coon Creek Girls
Wilma Lee Cooper 87
Helen Cornelius 77
Sheryl Crow Detours, Home For Christmas, 100 Miles From Memphis, Feels Like Home, Be Myself
Bobbie Cryner
Lacy J. Dalton 62 Here’s to Hank
Gail Davies 69 Since I Don’t Have You
Linda Davis Love Remains (Hilary Scott & The Scott Family)
Skeeter Davis 44
Iris DeMent Sing the Delta, The Trackless Woods
Hazel Dickens
Amber Digby
Dixie Chicks 12 MMXVI Tour
Holly Dunn 68
Kathleen Edwards Asking for Flowers, Voyageur
Cousin Emmy 45
Dale Evans 57
Sara Evans 54 Stronger, Slow Me Down, At Christmas, Words
Barbara Fairchild 97
Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) The Reason Why, Tornado, Pain Killer, Wanderlust, The Breaker
Donna Fargo 36
Forester Sisters 86
Janie Fricke 46 Roses and Lace, Country Side of Bluegrass
Crystal Gayle 23
Bobbie Gentry 67
Alice Gerrard (Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard) Bittersweet, Follow the Music
Terri Gibbs
Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Heritage, Carolina Chocolate Drops & Joe Thompson, Genuine Negro Jig, Leaving Eden, Tomorrow is My Turn, I Know I’ve Been Changed, Freedom Highway
Patty Griffin Downtown Church, American Kid, Silver Bell, Servant of Love
Nanci Griffith 72 The Loving Kind, Intersection
Bonnie Guitar 83
Emmylou Harris 2008 4 All I Intended to Be, Hard Bargain, Old Yellow Moon, Traveling Kind, Complete Trio Collection
Cary Ann Hearst (Shovels & Rope) Shovels & Rope, O Be Joyful, Swimmin’ Time, Busted Jukebox Vol. I, Little Seeds, Busted Jukebox Vol. I
Faith Hill 25 Joy to the World, The Rest of Our Life
Goldie Hill 78
Jan Howard 58
Aunt Molly Jackson 43
Wanda Jackson 22 The Party Ain’t Over, Unfinished Business, Wanda Live! at Third Man Records
Sarah Jarosz Song Up In Her Head, Follow Me Down, Build Me Up From Bones, Undercurrent
Norma Jean 71
Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Norah Jones (The Little Willies) For The Good Times (TLW), Foreverly (w Billie Joe Armstrong)
Wynonna Judd (The Judds) 10 Love Heals, Sing: Chapter One, Wynonna & The Big Noise
Jeannie Kendall (The Kendalls) 98
Alison Krauss 11 Paper Airplane, Windy City
Miranda Lambert 90 Revolution, Four the Record, Hell On Heels, Annie Up, Platinum, The Weight of These Wings
k.d. Lang 60 Watershed, Sing it Loud, case/lang/veirs
Brenda Lee 1997 17
Danni Leigh
Lydia Loveless The Only Man, Indestructible Machine, Somewhere Else, Real
Patty Loveless 13 Sleepless Nights, Mountain Soul II
Loretta Lynn 1988 2 Full Circle, White Christmas Blue, Wouldn’t it Be Great (May 2018)
Shelby Lynne 74 Just a Little Lovin’, Tears, Lies, and Alibis, Revelation Road, I Can’t Imagine, Not Dark Yet, Merry Christmas
Maddie & Tae Maddie & Tae, Start Here
Rose Maddox 31
Barbara Mandrell 2009 14
Louise Mandrell
Joey Martin Feek (Joey + Rory) The Life of a Song, Album Number Two, His and Hers, Inspired, Made to Last, Country Classics, Hymns That are Important to Us, A Farmhouse Christmas
Kathy Mattea 27 Coal, Go Tell it On the Mountain, Calling Me Home
Martina McBride 26 Live in Concert, Shine, Eleven, Everlasting, Reckless
Lila McCann Paint This Town
Charly McClain 84
Mindy McCready I’m Still Here
Reba McEntire 2011 6 Keep On Loving You, All the Women I Am, Love Revival, Love Somebody, My Kind of Christmas, Sing it Loud: Songs of Faith and Hope
Lori McKenna Lorraine, Massachusetts, Numbered Doors, The Bird & The Rifle
Tift Merritt Another Country, See You On The Moon, Traveling Alone, Stitch of the World
Jo Dee Messina 53 Unmistakable EP Trilogy, Me
Jody Miller
Ashley Monroe Satistfied, Like a Rose, Hell on Heels, Annie Up, The Blade, Live at Third Man, Ashley Monroe and Trent Dabbs,
Patsy Montana 1996 42
Melba Montgomery 73 Studio 102 Essentials, The Things That Keep You Going
Allison Moorer 96 Mockingbird, Crows, Down to Believing, Not Dark Yet
Lorrie Morgan 30 A Moment in Time, I Walk Alone, An Old Fashioned Christmas, Dos Divas, Letting Go…Slow, A Picture of Me, Come See Me and Come Lonely
Maren Morris Live Wire, Maren Morris, Hero
Anne Murray 28 Anne Murray’s Christmas Album
Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park, Pageant Material, A Very Kacey Christmas
Tami Neilson Red Dirt Angel, The Kitchen Table Sessions Vols I & II, Dynamite!, Don’t Be Afraid
Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) 100 Love On the Inside, Live On the Inside, Gold and Green, The Incredible Machine, That Girl, Playing With Fire, To Celebrate Christmas, Still the Same (2018)
Heidi Newfield (Trick Pony)
Juice Newton 52 Duets: Friends and Memories
Olivia Newton-John 49 Sordid Lives: The Series, Grace and Gratitude Renewed, A Few Best Men, A Celebration in Song, This Christmas, Liv On, Friends For Christmas, Summer Nights: Live in Vegas, Two Strong Hearts Live, Hotel Sessions
Jamie O’Neal Eternal
K.T. Oslin 37 Simply
Marie Osmond 82 I Can Do This, Music is Medicine, Donny and Marie
Bonnie Owens
Patti Page
Dolly Parton 1999 1 Better Day, Blue Smoke, Pure & Simple, I Believe in You, The Complete Trio Collection
Stella Parton Testimony
Minnie Pearl 1975 40
Gretchen Peters 92 Northern Lights, One to the Heart, One to the Head, Hello Cruel World, Woman on the Wheel, Blackbirds
Kellie Pickler Kellie Pickler, 100 Proof, The Woman I Am
Angaleena Presley Hell On Heels (PA), American Middle Class, Annie Up (PA), Wrangled
Jeanne Pruett 89
Kim Richey Wreck Your Wheels, Thorn in My Heart
Jeannie C. Riley 50
LeAnn Rimes 38 Lady & Gentlemen, Spitfire, Today is Christmas, Remnants
Julie Roberts Alive, Good Wine & Bad Decisions
Linda Ronstadt 21 The Complete Trio Collection
Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum) Lady Antebellum, Need You Now, Own the Night, Golden, 747, Heart Break, On This Winter’s Night, Love Remains
Secret Sisters The Secret Sisters, Put Your Needle Down, You Don’t Own Me Anymore
Jeannie Seely 55 Vintage Country, Written in Song
SHeDaisy 76
Jean Shepard 2011 34
Connie Smith 2012 24 Long Line of Heartaches
Margo Smith 79
Sammi Smith 70
Billie Jo Spears 64
Roba Stanley 91
Sugar (Dave & Sugar) 99
Sunny Sweeney Concrete, Provoked, Trophy
Sweethearts of the Rodeo 93 Restless
Taylor Swift Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, Reputation
Sylvia 95 It’s All in the Family
Pam Tillis 35 ReCollection, Dos Divas, Come See Me and Come Lonely
Tanya Tucker 15 My Turn
Shania Twain 16 Still the One: Live in Vegas, Now
Carrie Underwood 59 Play On, Blown Away, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, Storyteller
Rhonda Vincent 63 Good Thing Going, Destination Life, Taken, Sunday Mornin’ Singin’, Only Me, Your Money and My Good Looks, American Grandstand, Christmas Time
Cindy Walker 1997 18
Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) Sara Watkins, Sun Midnight Sun, Young in All the Wrong Ways, A Dotted Line, Watkins Family Hour, See You Around
Kitty Wells 1976 9
Dottie West 19
Gillian Welch
Joy Lynn White
Lari White New Loves, Old Friends
Sharon and Cheryl White (The Whites) 75 Hearts Like Ours
Marijohn Wilkin 88
Holly Williams Here With Me, The Highway
Lucinda Williams 41 Little Honey, Blessed, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, Ghosts of Highway 20, This Sweet Old World
Joy Williams (The Civil Wars) Barton Hollow (TCW), The Civil Wars (TCW), Venus
Kelly Willis Cheater’s Game, Our Year
Gretchen Wilson 85 I Got Your Country Right Here, Right On Time, Under the Covers, Ready to Get Rowdy, Christmas in My Heart, Still Here For the Party
Lee Ann Womack 33 Call Me Crazy, The Way I’m Livin’, Trouble in Mind, The Lonely, the Lonesome, and the Gone
Chely Wright Lifted Off the Ground, I am the Rain
Michelle Wright Strong
Tammy Wynette 1998 5
Trisha Yearwood 8 PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit, The Passion: Live From New Orleans, Christmas Together

100 Greatest Women: 10th Anniversary Edition

Next: #100. Roba Stanley

Previous: Introduction


  1. As your post’s image suggests, Lee Ann Womack is most deserving of a higher placement since your initial series. I’m looking forward to a celebration of her recent work which stands among the genre’s finest ever in a time when country music seems to have forgotten everything that makes it great. Hoping to see Jennifer Nettles get a boost as well. Also optimistic to see high placements once again for Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Kathy Mattea and Patty Loveless. Every time I turn on today’s country radio, I’m reminded how spoiled I was to experience their heyday. Hoping to see Dolly maintain her top spot! Thank you for revisiting this series and reminding me why I love country music.

  2. I’m not really sure where to begin with everything … I definitely think that Dolly Parton still needs to remain at No. 1 (obviously). One huge change I’d make is putting Lori McKenna on the list. While ‘The Bird and the Rifle’ is excellent, her impact on the industry in the past few years (“Humble and Kind”) is notable too. Actually, there are a ton of songwriters who have become more notable over the past decade. Brandy Clark, McKenna, Natalie Hemby…etc.

    I’d also agree with Mike that Lee Ann Womack should be higher on the list. Admittedly, I’m not as wild about her last two albums as others are, but anyone willing to still take risks and make interesting music this far into their career needs to be commended.

  3. I count 29 of those that I’ve seen perform. I’m so glad I finally got to see Loretta in late 2016. I was at the CMHOF the day the Lynn Anderson exhibit opened, so it’s good to see her recognized,too.
    In general, I’d give tremendous weight to the early pioneers – Patsy Montana, Kitty Wells, Dale Evans, Cindy Walker, Coon Creek Girls, Rose Maddox, etc. The DeZurik Sisters and the Girls of the Golden West would also make my list. Patsy Montana might be the single most underrated on the original list.

  4. You probably should add a few more names from the world of bluegrass. Women in bluegrass have made far greater progress than women in so-called mainstream country; actually, bluegrass IS mainstream country these days since there is nothing country about the music coming out of Nashville

  5. I see Paul mentioned bluegrass. Maybe some Western Swing too? The late Dawn Sears of the Timejumpers and, a favorite of mine, Stacey Lee Guse of the Canadian group, The Western Swing Authority.

  6. I would make the case for Tift Merritt being there, with the high quality of her releases and a style that combines the literary aspects of the Americana movement with the old-school country-rock of her spiritual role models Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

    Speaking of Linda, of course, since that first survey, Parkinson’s Disease has ended her career, so you pretty much have to consider any assessment of her career final. Where she’ll rank in this new survey (she was #21 the first time) is anyone’s guess. Even in retirement, however, she still continues to influence a lot of her younger peers; both Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz, along with their good friend Aoife O’Donovan [as the ultra-traditional folk trio I’m With Her), saluted her at a Parkinson’s benefit here in L.A. in December 2016; and Caitlin Rose (daughter of T-Swift ghost writer Liz Rose) is also a huge fan.

  7. I’m sure hoping Crystal Gayle moves up from #23. The woman had 18 number one country hits and almost three dozen top tens. Her influence can be heard in numerous modern female country singers. She definitely deserves to be in the top 15 of this list, but absolutely the top 20!!!

  8. Patty Loveless may be basically retired but she’s still worthy of her place! Nobody’s done what she’s done better.

  9. We will go into a bit more detail on what to expect in the Introductory post for the new list, which goes live tomorrow, the first day of Women’s History Month.

    But as a general rule, upward movement on the list is directly related to output over the last ten years, with some minor course corrections from the 2008 list.

    Also, while there will be a modest bluegrass presence, it is Americana/American Roots music that we see as the outlet for significant female artists who would’ve been considered mainstream country in an earlier era.

    That’s a phenomenon not limited to gender, either. Many of the most significant male artists right now – Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and the like – are straddling that line between mainstream country and Americana. The bluegrass influence was much stronger at the turn of the 21st century than it is now, with O Brother, Alison Krauss, and Nickel Creek having big mainstream success and mainstream acts like the Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley, and Patty Loveless demonstrating bluegrass influence in their work.

  10. A nice summary of a lot of great work released in the last decade. If you’re factoring in upcoming releases such as those by Sugarland, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Loretta Lynn, new albums have also been announced for Ashley Monroe and Kacey Musgraves.

  11. I suggest that Gillian Welch be included on the ballot. While her recording output in the last decade has been modest, her influence has been significant, especially among Americans/roots artists.

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