11 Of The Most Famous Female Country Singers Of The 80s

There’s something about country music that seems to resonate with women. Maybe it’s the stories of heartbreak and hope or the way that country music celebrates the simple things in life. Whatever it is, there are a ton of amazing female country singers out there.

And in this post, we’re going to take a look at 11 of the most famous female country singers of the 80s. These ladies have all had significant success in the industry, and their music has touched millions of people worldwide.

1. Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire is an American country music singer, songwriter, and television producer.

Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, to a family of rodeo cowboys, she began singing in public at an early age. Her father encouraged her musical talent, and she quickly began to perform at local rodeos and events. 

After winning a local singing contest, she was allowed to record her first album. Her self-titled debut album was released, and she soon became one of the world’s most popular country music artists.

Throughout her career, McEntire released many albums and sold over 75 million records worldwide. In addition to her musical success, she has starred in several television shows and movies, including her sitcom, “Reba.” 

2. Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a country music legend who has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years and continues to do so.

The peak of her career in sales and the music charts came in the 70s and 80s. Her unique blend of country, pop, and gospel quickly gained popularity, and she soon secured a record deal with RCA. 

Throughout her career, she composed more than 3,000 songs and scored 25 number-one singles on the Billboard Country Music Charts. In addition to her musical accomplishments, Parton is also known for being business savvy.

She has launched successful ventures in everything from cosmetics to theme parks, like Dollyworld in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

3. Kathy Mattea

Kathy Mattea is a Grammy-winning country music singer known for her traditional style and thoughtful lyrics. Born in South Virginia, she was exposed to a variety of music at an early age, including folk, country, and bluegrass. 

After releasing her debut album in 1984, which she aptly named after herself, she quickly gained popularity with her combination of traditional and contemporary country sounds. 

Throughout her career, she has released 14 studio albums and earned two Grammy Awards and numerous other accolades.

Some of her most famous single releases during the 80s include the songs “Where’ve You Been,” “Train of Memories,” and “Street Talk.”

4. Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood is an American country music singer, songwriter, actress, and author. She began her career in 1985 and is known for her traditional country sound and her strong vocal abilities.

Yearwood has had several hits throughout her career, including “Walkaway Joe,” “She’s in Love with the Boy,” and “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl).”

In addition to her musical accomplishments, she’s also a successful businesswoman. She has a line of cookbooks and is the host of the Food Network show “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.” 

Yearwood is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has sold over 15 million records. She has also been married to country music singer Garth Brooks since 2005.

5. Suzy Bogguss

Suzy Bogguss is an American songwriter and country singer who began her career in the early 80s as a folk singer. During this stage of her career, Bogguss signed with Liberty Records. 

Her debut album, “Somewhere Between,” was released in 1987 and made its way onto the Billboard Country Albums chart. The album also won her the Top New Female Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music.

Her third album, “Aces,” was released and included the single “Outbound Plane.” The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum.

Bogguss has also won two Grammy Awards and received five nominations.

6. Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker is a country music legend. She got her start in the industry at the age of thirteen, when she released her debut single, “Delta Dawn.” The song became a huge hit and helped to launch her successful career.

Throughout her fifty-plus years in the business, she has released 25 studio albums and scored multiple Top 40 singles, going on a streak of top 10 and top 40 hits.

She has also won multiple Grammy Awards and the prestigious CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1991.

Even though she hasn’t yet been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, there’s no doubt that she’s one of the most iconic figures in country music history.

7. Juice Newton

Juice Newton is an American pop and country singer who found success in the early 1980s with a series of hits, including “Queen of Hearts” and “Angel of the Morning.”

In 1981, she released her breakthrough solo album, “Juice,” which spawned the Top 10 hit “Angel of the Morning” as well as the Top 40 hit “Queen of Hearts.” 

Newton continued to enjoy success with such hits as an updated version of “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known),” “Urgent,” and “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me.”

Throughout the 80s, Newton garnered 14 Top 10 hits and had the first country music video air on MTV for “Angel of the Morning.”

8. Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She released fifteen albums and is a five-time Grammy award winner.

Carpenter released her first album, “Hometown Girl,” in 1987, which led to her getting picked up and marketed as a country musician.

Carpenter has been praised for her songwriting ability and clear, powerful voice throughout her career. Her music often deals with themes of loss and heartache, but her songs are also marked by hope and resilience. 

In addition to her solo work, Carpenter has collaborated with many other artists, including Wynonna Judd, Joan Baez, and Tony Rice. 

9. Deborah Allen

Deborah Allen is a well-known American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She’s best known for her work in the country music genre. Her most famous songs include “Baby, I Lied” and “I’ve Been Cryin’ All Night Long.” 

Throughout her career, Allen has won multiple awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Country Song and the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female.

She has produced 12 albums and has written songs for other musicians, such as Patty Loveless and Tanya Tucker, which led to top hits.

10. Barbara Mandrell

Barbara Mandrell was born in Houston, Texas, in 1948. As the daughter of a country music singer, she began her musical career at an early age and went on to achieve great success as a country artist in the 1970s and 1980s.

In addition to her musical accomplishments, she also appeared on television, hosting her variety show, “The Barbara Mandrell Show,” from 1980 to 1982.

In the mid-1980s, Mandrell was in a bad car accident, which almost ended her career. However, Mandrell recovered and continued her country music career until 2000. 

Although she hasn’t been active in the music industry for many years, her contributions to country music have left a lasting legacy.

11. Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams began her career in 1978 with the release of “Ramblin’ on My Mind,” a country-folk album that received little attention.

It wasn’t until her 1988 album that she garnered wider recognition, with the album’s lead single “Passionate Kisses,” earning her the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. 

Since then, Williams has released some critically acclaimed albums, including “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” and “Essence.”

She has won multiple Grammy Awards and has been featured on Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time and Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time lists.

Summing Up Our List Of Famous 80s Female Country Singers

These women have incredible talent and have left their mark in country music.

All 11 artists enjoyed huge success during the 80s, pushing the genre to even more music enthusiasts. 

Whether you love country music or have never tried the tunes, you’ll be sure to find a woman on this list who will get you playing their songs on repeat.

But, who did we miss? Let us know and we’ll add them to our list!

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Written by Laura Macmillan
Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.