Where are the females in the Country Music Hall of Fame?

Country Music Hall of Fame Rotunda – Photo by Jessica Bray
Yesterday the Country Music Hall of Fame announced their 2016 inductee class.  The newest members include Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis, and Fred Foster.  While all three are deserving of the honor, there are some that many feel are left out.  Most importantly, there has been a serious lack of females inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

If you counted each and every member, including those in a group/duo, there are 158 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Out of that 158, only 21 are females, as in only 13.29% of the membership are females.

Here are the Country Music Hall of Fame Female Members and when they were inducted:
Connie Smith 2012
Reba McEntire 2011
Jean Shephard 2011
Barbara Mandrell 2009
Emmylou Harris 2008
Dolly Parton 1999
Tammy Wynette 1998
Brenda Lee 1997
Cindy Walker 1997
Patsy Montana 1996
Jo Walker-Meador 1995
Frances Preston 1992
Felice Bryant 1991 (with husband Boudleaux)
Loretta Lynn 1988
Kitty Wells 1976
Minnie Pearl 1975
Patsy Cline 1973
Carter Family 1970 (Sara and Mother Maybelle)

It has been 4 years since a female was inducted and that was Connie Smith.  There have been very long stretches in between female inductees.  Kitty Wells was inducted in 1976 and then in 1988, Loretta Lynn was included 12 years later.  Another long stretch was 1999 when Dolly Parton was inducted until 2008 when Emmylou Harris was included.  The first members were inducted in 1961, but the first female didn’t appear until 1970 with Sara and Mother Maybelle as part of the Carter Family.

Why are women suppressed when it comes to Country Music Hall of Fame inductions?  Why are the following not members yet? 
Alison Krauss
Crystal Gayle
Dottie Rambo
Dottie West
Faith Hill
Janie Fricke
Jeanie C. Riley
Jean Ritchie
Kathy Mattea
Lynn Anderson
Martina McBride
Molly O’Day
Patsi Bale Cox
Patty Loveless
Sammi Smith 
Shania Twain 
Skeeter Davis
Tanya Tucker
The Coon Creek Girls
The Judds 
Trisha Yearwood
Wanda Jackson

Many have blazed a trail doing things their own way, not minding what others may think or say.  Many have done a lot of charity work off the stage within their own communities.  They have stood strong, singing songs that they have written, and made a name for themselves, as well as gaining recognition around the world.  Look at the instance of Shania Twain as compared to Garth Brooks, who is a member.  Both have sold millions of records, performed sold out concerts, and went across genres, as well as across the pond internationally with their music.  Yet, Garth was inducted many years prior to other deserving males who are still not inducted – Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Hank Williams, Jr. and more.

When will we see another female inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame?  It is long overdue for many of these women.  Who do you feel should be in the Hall of Fame?


  1. Joe Wearne

    The Hall of Fame induction committee should be ashamed that the female gender has been ignored. If a person like Tanya Tucker or Sammi Smith isn’t there by now than maybe you should cancel the Hall altogether. Hello Crystal Gayle where are you. Many more.

    1. Eddie

      A more important question is why “The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle” have not been inducted. Doing so would make Maybelle Carter the ONLY female in history to be twice inducted into the hall. She and her daughters had a very distinguished career as a group and as solo performers. All this took place after the Original Carter Family disbanded.

      One man, Roy Rogers, has been twice elected to the hall; once as a member of a group and once as a soloist.

      1. Ron Bibb

        Patty Loveless, Alison Krauss,Martina McBride and Crystal Gayle should be in the CMHOF before any other man is inducted.It’s way past time for these ladies to be inducted.Treat our ladies right!

  2. jm smith

    skeeter davis should have been inducted long long ago. she had 36 top 40 country hits and at least 9 pop crossovers. she had 20 bmi awarded songs, and let’s not forget about her and the davis sisters harmony which influenced the everly brothers and skeeter doing 3 part harmony with herself after betty jack died. singers like tammy wynette, jeannie seely, and dolly parton said she was a big influence on their careers. now tell me what’s wrong with this picture.

    1. Rabun Frost

      Skeeter Davis is probably the greatest injustice in the hall of fame to date. With her early success in country music in the 50’s to her astounding worldwide success in the 60’s. Why can’t the HOF recognize the influence that she had on the rising country music industry in Japan, England, South America and elsewhere around Europe and the world. Her worldwide hit, “The End of the World” would clearly qualify her for the HOF even if she had no other successes. Obviously, the HOF has forgotten that she, along with Connie Francis, where the driving forces in the music industry with singers in the 50’s and 60’s who imitated their successful practice of singing with themselves to provide outstanding harmony.

  3. Daniel Reed Drown

    2020 and three deserving men , no deserving women inducted. According to The C.M.H.O.F only about 10% of all the great music done by a female perspective is worthy of induction. The deck is stacked by a boys club mentality that reeks of misogynistic intentions. What is obvious at this point is nothing is going to change anytime soon .Maybe it’s time for an organization and museum dedicated exclusively to the women of country music. I know for a fact when Bobbie Gentry was offered the chance just to begin the process for induction she simply refused. She had had enough of the industry. Today she is getting her just due. Universal Records is 100% behind her catalog and sales are brisk. Just last year her box set ,The Girl from Chickasaw Country: The Complete Capitol Masters, received a grammy nomination for best historical recording. The expensive box set has sold 20,000 units at 100 dollars a piece. Forty years since she set foot in a record company recording studio she sells 2 million dollars worth of records in little over a year. The L.A, New York and London Times all named it top re-issue of the year.

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