100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time

From architects of the genre like Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers to game-changers Garth Brooks and Shania Twain

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Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty67/100

67. Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker wasn't even old enough to get a driver's license when she recorded "Delta Dawn," but she sang it with the confidence of someone twice her age. That gritty vocal timbre, coupled with the possibly-too-mature subject matter of her songs (like "Would You Lay With Me [In a Field of Stone])", made the young Seminole, Texas, native a star and an archetype for the tough-talking, rebellious female performers who followed in her wake. She could rock out with ease – check out her cover of "Not Fade Away" on TNT – but was equally comfortable selling the drama of a good ballad. Drinking and substance abuse issues threatened to derail Tucker's career in the early 1980s, but she enjoyed an impressive second act with a softer pop-country sound in the late Eighties, scoring a long string of Top 10 hits including Number Ones "Strong Enough to Bend" and "If It Don't Come Easy." She hasn't been as active in the last decade, but in fairness she'd already cranked out more hits by 20 than most people do in a lifetime. J.F.

Key Tracks: "Delta Dawn," "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)," "Texas (When I Die)"

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