Reba Tops CMT’s 20 Greatest Women

Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, Taylor Swift Rank High on Fan-Voted Countdown

Reba McEntire ranked first in a new CMT special that compiled the top women in country music over the last two decades. Titled What’s Your 20? 20 Greatest Women, 20 Years , the special debuted Friday (May 6). The final results were determined by fan-voting on CMT.com.

The iconic country star, now known to millions simply as Reba, has charted dozens of Top 10 country hits since 1991, from “Fancy” to “Turn On the Radio.” While maintaining her incredible track record at country radio, she has successfully branched out into television, movies, fashion, books and Broadway. She charted her first single in 1976, but waited four more years until one of her releases, “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven,” finally cracked the Top 10.

Meanwhile, Carrie Underwood landed in the second spot. She famously entered the country world in 2005 after winning another fan-voted show, American Idol. From “Jesus, Take the Wheel” to “Undo It,” she has proven herself as a versatile vocalist while establishing herself as a rising star in television (How I Met Your Mother) and film (Soul Surfer).

Shania Twain and Taylor Swift, two of the most internationally recognized country stars, came in third and fourth, respectively. Interestingly, Twain last appeared on the country airplay chart in 2005 with “Shoes,” while Swift made her first impression just a year later with “Tim McGraw.” Martina McBride, who charted her first single in 1992, enters in fifth place.

The final ranking of What’s Your 20? 20 Greatest Women, 20 Years is as follows:

1. Reba McEntire
2. Carrie Underwood
3. Shania Twain
4. Taylor Swift
5. Martina McBride
6. Dolly Parton 7. Faith Hill 8. Alison Krauss 9. Miranda Lambert 10. Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland 11. Sara Evans 12. Trisha Yearwood 13. Dixie Chicks 14. LeAnn Rimes 15. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum 16. Patty Loveless 17. Wynonna 18. Emmylou Harris 19. Lee Ann Womack 20. Gretchen Wilson

Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.