CMT Celebrates Some of Country Music’s Top Female Duos and Groups

The Chicks, The Highwomen, The Forester Sisters and more have made indelible contributions to country music

Some of country music’s most memorable songs have been written and/or performed by all-female groups, whether that’s the musical contributions of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters (June, Helen and Anita Carter), The Forester Sisters’ five No. 1 hits in the 1980s, mother-daughter duo The Judds’ iconic string of 14 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, or the Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks) with their inescapably catchy, bold singles like “Goodbye Earl” and “Travelin’ Soldier.”

Today, CMT highlights some of country music’s most successful all-female groups.

The Chicks
As the sun set on the 1990s, The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) were the top-performing country group on country radio, with multi-platinum projects including Wide Open Spaces (1998), Fly (1999) and Home (2002). “Goodbye Earl” earned crossover success, as did “Long Time Gone” and their cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit “Landslide.” The trio’s Natalie Maines, Emily Stayer and Martie Maguire offered a unique amalgam of sounds anchored in traditional country, accented with both bluegrass instrumentation and a pop sheen. However, in 2003, the band’s Maines stated to a London audience that she was “ashamed” President George W. Bush also hailed from the band’s homestate of Texas, causing country radio stations to pulled the trio’s music from the airwaves. The trio fought back, releasing Taking the Long Way in 2006 and earning five Grammys. They followed with an extended musical hiatus that ended with 2020’s Gaslighter.

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