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Kitty Wells Dies: Country Stars Pay Tribute

Martina McBride, Charlie Daniels, Kellie Pickler
Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images

Kitty Wells did almost as much for country music as the guitar and fiddle. The Queen of Country died on Monday at the age of 92 after complications from a recent stroke. Wells was not only a major hitmaker in the ’50s and ’60s, but she was the first female country singer with a voice that the mostly male-dominated industry stepped aside and respected. 

Her 1952 hit ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ was a fiery answer to Hank Thompson’s ‘Wild Side of Life.’ The song was banned for a short time at NBC radio and the Grand Ole Opry, but eventually became the first song from a female artist to top the charts.

Needless to say, women in Nashville today owe Wells a show of gratitude, and many — like Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler and Sunny Sweeney — said thank you on Twitter this week. Men of country, of course, paid tribute to the late singer as well.

Next: See Country Artists We've Lost in 2012

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