Why: Why? Because She's Dolly Parton. No female artist has meant as much to country music and for so long as the woman who gave us hits like 'Jolene,' 'I Will Always Love You' and '9 to 5.' Parton's a music empire with work on Broadway, in movies and her own theme park. There's hardly an active female singer today who wasn't inspired by this legend.

Honorable Mentions: Brad Paisley, Charley Pride and Ray Price

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