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17 Women Who Prove '90s Country Was Everything

♫ I feel like a woman! ♫

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1. Shania Twain

Mercury Records / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Shania is the reigning queen of '90s country. Her 1997 record Come On Over dominated international charts for years, becoming the best selling album by a female artist in any genre ever. It also became the best-selling country record of all time – a move that even Garth Brooks hasn't topped. Shania's tongue-in-cheek approach to her music and video concepts have also become a signature of hers.

Song that slays: "Any Man Of Mine"

2. LeAnn Rimes

Curb Records / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: LeAnn got into the game in 1996 and set records across multiple genres. As a matter of fact, she's the only artist ever to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard 200, Top Country Albums, and Contemporary Christian charts simultaneously (1997's You Light Up My Life). She's grown past being the "little girl with the big voice" but she's always had a vocal range that goes beyond any one genre.

Song that slays: "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)"

3. Dixie Chicks

Sony BMG Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Why they slayed: Three in one, Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, and Martie Maguire make up the definitive country girl group. Once they shifted members, they had huge chart success. Dixie Chicks' first two albums sold so well from 1998 to 1999 –  10 million units each – that they're the first female group and the only country group ever to earn back-to-back RIAA diamond awards. The trio is loved for being strong women while still being vulnerable – doing it all on their own terms.

Song that slays: "Goodbye Earl"

4. Shedaisy

Lyric Street Records, Inc. / Via youtube.com

Why they slayed: The trio of sisters (Kelsi, Kassidy, and Krystin Osborn) had success just as the decade came to a close – their debut album spent 99 weeks in the Billboard Top Country Albums charts and their debut single "Little Goodbyes" went to number three on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1999. Shedaisy shows that a trio doesn't have to be all about one vocalist either – the ladies harmonize and do it well.

Song that slays: "Little Goodbyes"

5. Chely Wright

MCA Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Before Chely became a history-making gay rights advocate, her fourth album was all over the country charts in 1999. The album's lead single "Single White Female" went to number one on the country airplay chart. The album of the same name cracked the top 20 of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Chely brings a sentimental perspective to her music and songwriting that also produced great songs by Brad Paisley and country group Diamond Rio.

Song that slays: "Single White Female"

6. Trisha Yearwood

MCA Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Trisha has had an insane amount of chart success from the albums she's released in the '90s. Although she and LeAnn Rimes released "How Do I Live" weeks apart in 1997, Trisha enjoyed country radio success while LeAnn's version dominated pop radio. Meanwhile, Trisha has sixteen singles that have cracked the top ten of the Billboard Country Airplay charts. As someone who got her start doing back up vocals, Trisha shows you don't need a massive voice to sing great country songs with range and emotion.

Song that slays: "Everybody Knows"

7. Deana Carter

Capitol Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Deana's 1996 debut Did I Shave My Legs For This? peaked at number two on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album features one of her most popular songs to date, "Strawberry Wine," which went to number one along with "We Danced Anyway" on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Her unique twang and the slight rasp in her voice give her music a style that stands out on radio.

Song that slays: "Strawberry Wine"

8. Martina McBride

RCA Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Martina is one of the first names you think of when women of country music come to mind. It's with good reason: her second album contained her first number one single "Wild Angels." The albums that followed – 1997's Evolution and 1999's Emotion – peaked at number four and three respectively on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. What's so great about Martina is that she has a huge voice but doesn't make a show of it – she uses it where it's necessary to put emotion in a vocal.

Song that slays: "Independence Day"

9. Lee Ann Womack

MCA Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Two of Lee Ann Womack's three singles from her 1997 self-titled debut – "The Fool" and "You've Got To Talk To Me" – peaked at number two on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. "I'll Think Of A Reason Later" and "A Little Past Little Rock" from her sophomore record Some Things I Know also peaked at number two. When she first hit the scene, she set herself apart by taking on a more traditional country sound as the genre was getting more pop.

Song that slays: "The Fool"

10. Terri Clark

Mercury Records / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Her first single, "Better Things To Do" reached number three on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Plus, all of her albums released in the decade cracked the top 20 of the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, with her debut hitting number 13 and 1996's Just The Same and 1998's How I Feel each reaching number 10. Terri stands out because she played the boys game – singing songs with a tinge of independence and not pining for a lover – and won.

Song that slays: "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me"

11. Jo Dee Messina

Curb Records / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Jo Dee is a fairly underrated country singer. Her singles from her second album, I'm Alright, all dominated the Billboard country charts in 1998. All of the album's first three singles ("Bye Bye," the title track "I'm Alright," and "Stand Beside Me") went to number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. Like many of her contemporaries, she put out singles that celebrated singleness and didn't treat it like a catastrophe, but she still celebrated love with an upbeat vibe.

Song that slays: "Heads Carolina, Tails California"

12. Sara Evans

RCA Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Sara's debut was critically acclaimed but didn't do so well. She still stuck to the traditional country sound she was praised for and in 1999 her second album No Place That Far went to number 11 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts. The title track – a duet with country icon Vince Gill – was her first number one on the Billboard Country Airplay charts. What's great about Sara is that she has a unique, old school country twang that works well mixed with more contemporary elements.

Song that slays: "No Place That Far"

13. Faith Hill

Warner Bros. Nashville / Via youtube.com

Why she slayed: Faith is one of the original modern country queens. Every album she released in the '90s spawned at least one number one single: "Wild One" in 1994 from her first album, "This Kiss" from 1998's Faith, "It Matters To Me" from the album of the same name in 1996, and one of her biggest hits, "Breathe" – the title track of her 1999 album.

Song that slays: "It Matters To Me"

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