Music is powerful – a good song can encourage, uplift and comfort you. Whether you are getting ready for a night out, listening to the radio or singing at a karaoke bar; there is always a great country song to be enjoyed! From the 1970’s to today, the best female country songs have topped the charts with their captivating tunes and emotional storytelling.
Many people love country music for its classic stories of love, heartbreak, summer days and drinking. Compared to other genres, country is unique. In fact, a recent study examined the themes across different types of music and found that country songs contain the least amount of misogyny and violence in their lyrics while pop and hip-hop tend to have more themes that are hard to swallow.
Everyone has their go-to songs to play when feeling a little down. Besides just brightening your mood, research shows that listening to “groovy” music can actually enhance brain performance. The one catch is that you have to be familiar with the tune for this to work. That being said, turn on your favorite song and your brain will thank you!
Female country artists have the amazing ability to often express our deepest thoughts and feelings through their music. Whether it is by lyric or melody, country music can remind us of good (and bad) times in our lives. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best female country songs that were recommended across these sites! If you have your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Female Country Songs, According to Experts
1. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton, often referred to as the Queen of Country Music, has greatly influenced the music industry and beyond. Among her many great songs, “Jolene” is still considered to be one of the best and most classic songs in country music.
Dolly Parton released Jolene as a single in 1973 and it quickly became a number one hit. Country Living says, “Dolly’s heartbreaking song about the other woman in a marriage is as hauntingly beautiful today as when it was first released. It’s so popular, in fact, that even inspired an episode of her 2019 Netflix show.”
You may be wondering where the inspiration of this song came from. Dolly Parton was “inspired by the sight of her husband flirting with a bank teller, ‘Jolene’ is Parton’s most heartrending triumph and the most devastating cheating song of them all,” adds Rolling Stones.
Hello Music Theory says, “Parton revealed that the appearance of Jolene—’flaming locks of auburn hair, with ivory skin and eyes of emerald green’—was based on a fan who came on stage to ask her for an autograph.”
Multiple platinum certifications later, the catchy yet emotional tune of Jolene continues to be played and covered by other famous artists like Miley Cyrus, Pentatonix and Olivia Newton-John.
2. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain
Let’s go girls! Since the late ’90s, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” has been a playlist staple for every girls night out and bachelorette party. “Twain embraces her inner feminist in this Grammys-winning single. Insisting that ‘the best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun,'” mentions The Boot. Shania Twain is one of top selling female country artists of all time! She continues to tour and inspire women with her music.
I Heart Country says, “female artists have released iconic anthems over the years that were made for lifting up others (for example, when Queen of Me star Shania Twain says ‘let’s go, girls,’ to kick off ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman,’ girls better be ready to go).”
There is no better feeling than being empowered and encouraged by music which continues to be Twain’s biggest impact with this song. “This empowering song captured the hearts of many listeners, making Twain’s single placed at number four on the country chart. However, it was not only in the US that the song gained recognition. ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ also made an appearance on charts outside of the US,” notes Country Thang Daily. Just the sound of the opening notes is enough to get anybody ready to dance and party.
3. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood started as a hopeful contestant on American Idol and is now an 8-time Grammy winner. Her breakout song, “Before He Cheats”, went on to become one of the most successful songs in country music. Genius says, “the track became the first country song in history to sell over two million digital copies, and won two Grammy awards, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song. Since its release, it has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA, selling five million copies.”
Before He Cheats revealed a side of Carrie Underwood that had not been seen yet! Country Living adds, “Carrie may have been the sweet winner of American Idol, but this release proved she’s not a gal you want to mess with!”
Rolling Stone says, “As long as country music has existed, there have been women going up against their no-good men and cheatin’ husbands, ranging on a scale from verbal ethering to committing murder. Carrie Underwood’s ‘Before He Cheats,’ released a little over a year after her American Idol victory, falls squarely in the middle, enacting way more damage on the car than on the two-timing, bathroom Polo-wearing boyfriend.”
Whether you are going through a breakup or just want to sing a great karaoke song, it is impossible to disregard Carrie Underwood’s emotion throughout her lyrics. “Before He Cheats” will surely still make you want to damage that guy’s car with a baseball bat.
4. “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
It is hard to imagine a wedding or graduation without hearing Lee Ann Womack’s song – “I Hope You Dance”. Lee Ann Womack released the hit in 2000; it quickly topped the charts and continues to have staying power as one of the best country songs by a female artist. Taste of Country says, “‘I Hope You Dance’ by Lee Ann Womack won just about every major award there was to win in 2000 and 2001. The song was a huge crossover and international hit, because few could turn away from such an inspirational message.”
Country Music Life writes: “After two successful albums and a tip of the hat from Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack became a superstar in 2000 when she released the title track to her third album I Hope You Dance.”
The tune continues to be a song that encourages all who listen to sing along and will continue to be passed down to generations. “Written by Nashville songwriters Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers, ‘I Hope You Dance’ is a life-affirming song with an uplifting, timeless message. It was based on a mother’s narration, expressing her desire for her children to step out and embrace life, take a chance on love and faith,” adds Country Thang.
5. “Crazy” by Patsy Cline
The hit song Crazy by Patsy Cline was released in 1961 and quickly climbed up the charts. Since then, it has been played countless times as well as covered by many famous artists including Linda Ronstadt and LeAnn Rimes. Not only is Crazy one of the top country songs of all time by a female artist, it is also considered one of the best country songs of all time! Taste of Country says, “Patsy Cline‘s ‘Crazy’ is the top song from a female artist on the Top 100 Country Songs list. It’s difficult to argue this masterpiece’s place on the list, or any list of the top songs ever recorded.”
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying and I’m crazy for loving you, Patsy Cline sings passionately. “Any heartbroken or lonely man or woman who is missing their significant other can relate to this 1961 country classic ‘Crazy.’ The silky, sultry voice of Patsy Cline voicing how one feels when being away from one’s beloved certainly hits the spot right in the heart,” adds Hello Music Theory.
The song was written by Willie Nelson when he was first getting started in Nashville. It would then become what it is today, a timeless and relatable country classic. Country Thang Daily says, “Cline only recorded the song when her producer arranged the tune for her. She was not a fan of the original version but, when it was turned into a ballad, Cline finally recorded the song. It took a while before the final recording happened because, during those times, Cline was recovering from an accident. When it came out, it became a hit not only for Cline but for Nelson too.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Male Country Singers
- Best Female Country Singers
- Best Beatles Songs
- Best Elvis Presley Songs
- Best Breakup Songs
- Rolling Stone
- Country Living
- I Heart Country
- Country Thang Daily
- Hello Music Theory
- Taste of Country
- The Boot
- Country Music Life
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.