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Pioneering Country Star Kitty Wells Dies

We just discussed the contributions of country star Kitty Wells and her famous proto-feminist anthem “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” so we’re sad to report that according to Time, the pioneering singer has died at the age of 92. She became the first solo female country artist to reach number one on the billboard charts with her landmark and then controversial song that was a response to the 1952 Hank Thompson single, “The Wild Side of Life.” Wells recorded 50 albums, had 25 top 10 hits, and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976, winning countless awards and honors throughout her long career. The Nashville-born musician helped shape the sound of the genre and even managed to take up room on the pop charts — which speaks to the power of her lyrical messages about women, love, and the ups and downs of life. “I never really thought about being a pioneer,” she said in a 2008 interview. “I loved doing what I was doing.”

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