Why: 'T' presents a classic battle between classic and contemporary country music fans. Conway Twitty could front a poster advertising country music from the '70s, and with over 50 No. 1 records, it's difficult to argue against his influence. Randy Travis was equally influential in the '80s and early '90s, but it was Shania Twain that really changed the game for all future generations. Along with a few others, she helped expand the format to include new styles and fashions. The classic country fan may dismiss this as an unwanted development, but the fact remains that Twain is the most recognizable female country artist of all time.

Honorable Mentions: Conway Twitty, Randy Travis and Tanya Tucker