Since the Country Music Hall of Fame chose its first members in 1961 (Jimmie Rogers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams), 121 stars have been inducted in the prestigious annual ceremony. Of those, only 13 have been women. While there are strict rules about who can be included in the categories for Veteran Performer and Modern Performer, there are plenty of country gals who meet the criterion for longevity.
If the powers-that-be need some suggestions for their next ballot, these ten women would be a fine addition.
10. Alison Krauss
As the frontwoman for Alison Krauss & The Union Station, Alison has won 27 Grammy Awards, the most of any living recipient (tied with Quincy Jones). As a musician, singer and songwriter, Krauss has more than paid her country dues.
9. Trisha Yearwood
Yearwood rose to fame in 1991, making her eligible in the Modern Performer category. She’s already in Georgia’s Hall of Fame. Isn’t about time for national recognition?
8. The Judds
Shouldn’t 25 chart-topping singles be reason enough? The Judds are a chance for the election committee to induct two amazing country singers with one nomination.
7. Bonnie Raitt
Bluesy singer and slide guitarist Bonnie Raitt straddles the genres, but there’s definitely enough country to her vibe to make room for her in the Hall of Fame. “Thing Called Love” and “Something to Talk About” are on every country woman’s playlist.
6. Skeeter Davis
Born Mary Francis Penick, the singer known as Skeeter Davis was one of the first major female country stars. Icons like Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton cite Davis as an influence and it’s time to acknowledge the woman who influenced so many of country music’s greats.
5. Bobbie Gentry
Long before Kellie Pickler was even born, Bobbie Gentry was proving that country singers could be sexy and still have some serious chops. She was among the first women in the country genre to both write and produce her own music.
4. Tanya Tucker
Few people who become famous at 13 stay relevant through the decades. The popularity of Tucker’s “Delta Dawn” ought to be reason enough for the recognition!
3. Donna Fargo
Fargo had a whole slew of hits in the ‘70s, and she wrote and sang them herself. Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins, and Tanya Tucker are just a few others who have recorded songs she penned.
2. Linda Ronstadt
Ronstadt’s supergroup partners from the Trio album (Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris) are already inductees. Now that she’s unable to sing due to Parkinson’s, she should be recognized for legacy of her voice.
1. Dottie West
One of the most groundbreaking female country artists of all time, West’s name comes up whenever anyone discusses who the Hall of Fame has overlooked. Her ‘60s peers, from Loretta Lynn to Barbara Mandrell, have all been inducted. It’s time for Dottie!
Image Sources: BigStock/kathclick, BigStock/Amy N. Harris, Wikimedia