Miranda Lambert is closer to 30 years old than 40 and she already has 14 combined Female Vocalist of the Year wins. Is that a mic-drop answer to any question about why she's No. 3 on this of country music's most powerful women?

Sure, awards aren't everything. No. 1 songs aren't everything, either, but few will argue George Strait is not among the greatest country singers of all time. Touring success isn't everything, but few wouldn't put Garth Brooks in that same conversation. Fourteen wins is a dynasty in sports, and that's true in country music, too. It's not like she didn't have competition — women named Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift were pretty good year in and year out, as well.

Beyond the awards, there's Lambert's albums, five (of 6) of which have won ACM Album of the Year honors to go alongside two wins (with one pending) at the CMA Awards. Lambert has been victorious by sticking to core values and by letting the art lead. Take a moment to scan over her list of radio singles — there's not a trifle to be found among hard-hitting songs about love, cheating, abuse and nostalgia. And if you're curious, she has multiple Single and Song of the Year wins.

It's difficult to wrap your mind around a contemporary artist topping legends like Patsy Cline and Reba McEntire in terms of placement on this list of country's top women, but in 20 years, the clouds will clear and it will be obvious. Lambert's assertive influence helped drag country music through the Tomatogate controversy, and she has quietly emerged as the leader moving forward. She's a pillar of modern country music and one of country's all-time greats already.

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