On today's date (July 13) in 2001, five of country music's hottest female artists got together to begin the Girls Night Out Tour, a 25-date run across the country. Reba McEntire and Martina McBride were the headliners for a tour that was considered groundbreaking in country music. It was a celebration of the progress of women in Nashville -- country music's answer to Lilith Fair.

McBride was part of Lilith Fair twice and she had a heavy hand in organizing the tour. Additionally, Sara Evans, Jamie O'Neal and Carolyn Dawn Johnson played the four-and-a-half hour opening show in Las Vegas. Each took turns with their own sets before the group came together for a collaboration that included '(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman' and the Eagles' 'Heartache Tonight' before the Judds' song 'Girls Night Out.'

The concept never really blossomed into a yearly event, but perhaps it wasn't necessary. While female artists certainly face more obstacles today than their male counterparts, women like McEntire, McBride, Dolly Parton and Shania Twain (and more recently Miranda Lambert) opened new doors.

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