The female pioneer of country music in Americadies at the age of 92.
Wells is the first female singer with enough spunk and fire to get noticed in the male-dominated world of country music. She died peacefully in her home with her family after complications from stroke. She was called as “The Queen of Country Music” due to her numerous successes. In 1976 she got in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Wells scored the first country No. 1 hit by a solo female artist with ‘‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.’’ Her success dashed the notion that women couldn’t be headliners. Billboard magazine had been charting country singles for about eight years at that time. She recorded approximately 50 albums, had 25 Top 10 country hits and went around the world several times. From 1953 to 1968, various polls listed Wells as the No. 1 female country singer until Wynette finally dethroned her.
In 1955 her hit song “Making Believe” was used as the soundtrack for the film Mississippi Burning. Among her other hits were ‘‘The Things I Might Have Been,’’ ‘'Release Me,’’ ‘'Amigo’s Guitar,’’ ‘'Heartbreak USA,’’ ‘'Left to Right’’ and a version of ‘‘I Can’t Stop Loving You.’’
Wells was born to a family of musicians in Nashville on 1919. Her father was a country musician and her mother was a gospel singer. As a teenager she learned to play guitar and start singing along with her two sisters and cousins. At the age of 18 she married Johnnie Wright and that was the start of a 74 year marriage and musical partnership.