Queen of country music Kitty Wells passes away

Queen of country music Kitty Wells passes away

San Francisco : CA : USA | Jul 18, 2012 at 4:59 AM PDT
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Kitty Wells, who is considered the “Queen of Country Music”, passed away on Monday due to complications arising from a stroke. She was 92 years of age. Not only was she a legend on her own due to her exceptional voice, but she also paved way for many more female country music singers to come forward. Fans and friends alike are mourning the loss of a legend.

Loretta Lynn, who gained fame after Wells opened doors for stronger female voices in country music, said in a statement released on her web site, “Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all time. She was my hero. If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don't think I would have been a singer myself. I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells. She truly is the Queen of Country Music," according to contactmusic.com.

Wells started off her career with performances on local radio station in Nashville, but her breakthrough came with her stage stardom that began in 1937 with husband Johnnie Wright, who was part of the Johnnie & Jack duo. He passed away in 2011.

With her 1952 song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Ton Angels”, she rose to the top of the country charts. The song was basically a response to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life”, which argued that God made such angels.

She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976. According to her Hall of Fame biography, "Kitty Wells was a 33-year-old wife and mother when her immortal recording of ‘It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels' suddenly made her a star. Other female country singers of her day were trying their hands at hard-living, honky-tonk songs, but it was the intense and piercing style of Kitty Wells, with her gospel-touched vocals and tearful restraint that resonated with country audiences of the time and broke the industry barriers for women."

Born in Nashville to a family of musicians, music came naturally to her. She started off with performing on the radio with her two sisters and a cousin, with the foursome going by the name of the Deason Sisters.

With her marriage to Wright in 1937, she joined her husband and his sister, Louise, to perform as Wright & the Harmony Girls. Wright, after a period of two years, teamed up with Jack Anglin and started performing as Johnnie & Jack.

Other than "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", which sold 800,000 copies when it was first released in 1952, Wells had to her credit 35 Billboard Top Ten records and 81 charted singles. She was one of the few people to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

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Handout of Kitty Wells being inducted into the Country Music Association's Country Music Hall of Fame
Handout of Kitty Wells being inducted into the Country Music Association's Country Music Hall of Fame
harry68 is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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