It’s hard to believe it’s been 21 years since the world lost Tammy Wynette.
Known for her unmistakable twang, tear-jerking ballads, bright blonde bouffant hair and ever-evolving glamour, Wynette was a force in country music from the late 1960s all the way up until her passing in 1998.
Wynette’s art often imitated life, whether intentional or not. With songs like “Stand By Your Man,” “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” and the infamous George Jones duet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” at the forefront of her catalog, audiences knew that this was one woman bold enough to sing the truth and bare her soul for the sake of her music.
The singer would have been 77 years old today (May 5). To honor her memory, we’ve collected some of our favorite photos of the late legend:
A young newcomerMichael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
This photo perfectly captures Wynette at the start of her journey.
The blonder the betterPhoto by Paul W. Bailey/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Wynette appearing on an espisode of Midnight Special.
“Tutti Frutti”Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Tammy and her then-husband George Jones pose with Little Richard … whoo!
International superstarPhoto by Michael Putland/Getty Images
Wynette’s success was not just national; it was global. Here she is performing at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, in 1975.
Just regular folksPhoto by Jasper Dailey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Wynette and Jones shop at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor in 1973.
Tammy and DottiePhoto by Ron Galella/WireImage
Nothing to see here, folks, just two iconic artists hanging out at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1981.
Big hair, don’t careMichael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesPhoto by David Redfern/Redferns
Me and Mr. JonesPhoto by Kirk West/Getty ImagesPhoto by Ron Davis/Getty Images
A place to call homePaul Harris/Getty Images
Outside the gates of her Nashville home in 1982, the place she would pass in 1998.
Adorned in goldHarry Langdon/Getty Images
And this one just because this is a portrait. Aspiring divas, take notes.