Behind the auspicious songs “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” “’Til I Can Make It On My Own,” “Stand By Your Man” and many others rings a name that has had just as much staying power as these melodies. Tammy Wynette, country music’s own First Lady, is revered as one of the most recognizable songstresses from classic country.
Wynette’s untimely passing is still felt in the country community today, for we remember her as such an iconic and influential woman in country music. She’s known as an outstanding artist amongst both male and female acts, and she’s accrued a staggering 60-some awards both during her life and after.
How Wynette became known as “the First Lady of country music” is an inspiring story of one woman’s break into the industry. Initially, she began her singing career simply to help support herself and her three daughters after she left her first husband, but her passion for music quickly grew and led to her illustrious career. Success was not immediate, for her first single “Apartment No. 9” didn’t quite break through to the top 40—it actually topped out at 44. But following closely behind was “Stand By Your Man,” which has become a legendary tune in the genre. Wynette eventually boasted 23 number one singles over the course of her career.
The songstress began earning the attention of academy award panels in addition to radio listeners, winning two Grammy’s for Best Female Vocal Performance. She has since been inducted into the Grammy’s renowned Hall of Fame. She also amassed multiple awards from Billboard Magazine, including Best Female Artist, which she won four times over.
Perhaps one of this vocalist’s biggest accomplishments, however, is what she did not only for women in country but for all women in the industry. As she joined forces with big names like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, she also showed how strong of a force women can be in the industry, proving to record companies, producers and the market just how lucrative having female singers on a line-up can be.