Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

It’s time to celebrate all the badass women of the world. These women have accomplished, they’ve inspired, broken records, broken barriers and broken glass ceilings.

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, let’s take a look and listen to 19 powerful country queen bangers everyone should hear. Why 19? In honor of the 19th Amendment, of course. This amendment gave women the right to vote, ironically in 1919.

These are anthems intended to move, motivate and make our own. So, in the words of Shania Twain…”Let’s go girls!”



  • Man I Feel Like A Woman- Shania Twain

    This 1995 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” country girl anthem had us all taking to heart, and putting to action, Shania’s words: “The best thing about bein’ a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun.” Nothing super deep here, just joining the boys in the fight for our right to party. It’s a “no inhibitions” bop that set Shania’s career on fire, and opened more doors for women in country to write and sing their truths.

  • I'm A Survivor- Reba McEntire

    It was 2001 when Reba sang this timely anthem about a single mom with two jobs “Who loves her kids and never stops. With gentle hands and a heart of a fighter, I’m a survivor.” It went on to become the theme song to her popular TV show, Reba, and served as inspiration to working women everywhere. Simply empowering.

  • Girl In A Country Song - Maddie and Tae

    By 2014 most women had had enough of all the “bro-country” songs ruling the airwaves. Newcombers Maddie and Tae fought back with music. They even called out specific lyrics from some hugely popular artists’ songs. All the “sliding over” in your truck, and wearing Daisy Dukes with high heels had us uncomfortable, literally and figuratively. This talented twosome lit up the phones and their career with their answer to the bro-country world. Sing on, girls. Sing on.


    “Bein’ the girl in a country songHow in the world did it go so wrong?Like all we’re good for is lookin’ good forYou and your friends on the weekend, nothin’ more”

  • Redneck Woman- Gretchen Wilson

    Who could forget hearing “Redneck Woman” on the radio for the first time and thinking…”I feel that!” With lyrics like, “Well, I ain’t never been the Barbie doll type/No, I can’t swig that sweet Champagne, I’d rather drink beer all night/In a tavern or in a honky tonk or on a four-wheel drive tailgate,” Gretchen Wilson had everyone appreciating her rant. And the fact her video for the song had her playing along with the boys on ATV’s getting messed up in the mud, really made it that much more powerful.

  • Girl- Maren Morris

    The opening spoken words in Maren Morris’ video for her 2019 hit, “Girl” set the tone to understanding the inspiration behind this anthem: “Um…I think it all comes down to, like, we don’t want more than anyone else. We want the same as everyone else.” I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?

    Tell it like it is, Maren!

  • Born To Fly- Sara Evans

    Some songs don’t purposely set out to be an empowering anthem, they just catch fire that way. When you hear Sara Evans sing, “And how do you keep your feet on the ground when you know, that you were born, you were born, yeah, you born to fly,” you can’t help but feel like, yeah, I can do anything! The 2000#1 hit from the album of the same name had us wanting to reach for the stars and feeling motivated.

  • This One's For The Girls- Martina McBride

    I remember I would often well up listening to this Martina motivated jam. When she sang, “Tossin’ pennies into the fountain of youth/Every laugh, laugh line on your face/Made you who you are today,” I felt that, deep inside. She takes us through the trials and tribulations from our teens and dealing with peer pressure, though our 20s and self-discovery, and into our 40s and learning to appreciate how far we’ve come. This 2003 #1 is truly for the girls.

  • Girl Goin' Nowhere- Ashley McBryde

    Never listen to the nay-sayers, that is the message here from Ashley McBryde. Don’t let the anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. It certainly turned out well for Ashley. Slay, sister. Slay.

  • XXX's and OOO's- Trisha Yearwood

    Trisha slayed this 1994 song about a woman “tryin’ to make it in her daddy’s world.” It became an anthem for all us “American Girls.”

  • Dumb Blonde- Dolly Parton

    It may have been only 1966, but this smart blonde was way ahead of her time in recording this one. The  singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist didn’t write “Dumb Blonde” (one of a few she didn’t) but she said she felt like it written for her. Sure, it can be considered a “done- me- wrong” song, but there was much more to it than that. There was humor and tenancity and resilience but mostly, there was empowerment. “Just because I’m blonde/Don’t think I’m dumb/’Cause this dumb blonde ain’t nobody’s fool.”

  • Miss Me More- Kelsea Ballerini

    Kelsea delivered her intentions in this 2017 hit as clearly as could be. She wasn’t going to be with someone who wouldn’t let her be herself, anymore. “I forgot I had dreams, I forgot I had wingsForgot who I was before I ever kissed you/Yeah, I thought I’d miss you/But I miss me more (I miss me more)”

  • The Champion- Carrie

    Originally intended to be a pump-up anthem for athletes, Carrie co-wrote this one with rapper Ludacris. How can you not draw strenghth from these lyrics: “I am invincible, unbreakable/Unstoppable, unshakeable/They knock me down, I get up again/I am the champion, you’re gon’ know my name.” It’s more of a universal message and can certainly be understood for women wanting to be heard, seen and remembered.

  • Guys Do It All The Time -Mindy McCready

    Like Terri Clark’s “Girls Lie Too,” this 1996 Mindy McCready #1 hit has her telling off her partner. Insisting she can do what he can do. When she gets home late after a night with the girls, she stands up for herself, going off, singing: “Get over it, honey, life’s a two-way street/Or you won’t be a man of mine/Sure, I had some beers with the girls last night/Guys do it all the time.”

  • The Pill- Loretta Lynn

    It was the 1970s. It was Loretta Lynn. And it was country music. Needless to say, it was controversial. But Loretta had never shied away from speaking her mind through her music. “The Pill” was released in 1975 and had Ms. Lynn lamenting on the power she had with the birth control pill. As you might have guessed, many radio stations would no play the song. But to this day, Loretta’s words put to music is still one of the most powerful country songs about female empowerment.

  • Gunpowder and Lead- Miranda Lambert

    When you’ve had enough, you go to Miranda. She was all fire and brimstone in this 2008 banger. And she wasn’t going to take any abuse or mistreatment. That’s what this song is about. “He slapped my face, and he shook me like a rag doll/Don’t that sound like a real man?/I’m going to show him what little girls are made of/Gunpowder and lead.”

  • Girls With Guitars- Wynonna

    This girls-wanna-be-rock-stars-too anthem had Wynonna telling her truth, through the words of Mary Chapin Carpenter. Carpenter wrote the song and gave it to Wynonna, who she knew would rock it. It’s aimed at the girls in their bedrooms with their hairbrush microphones dreaming of being the next “Jimmi Hendricks.” Keep dreaming, keep playing. That’s the message here. Dreams come true for girls with guitars.

  • Girls Lie Too- Terri Clark

    This sassy 2004 Terri Clark hit was aimed at men who tell lies in relationships. She attacked the subject head-on with lyrics like this: “Don’t think you’re the only ones,Who bend it, break it, stretch it some.We learn from you, Girls lie too.”

  • I Can't Do That Anymore- Faith Hill

    It’s certainly interesting to note this 1996 song that directly addressed sexism, was written by a man. And not just any man…country superstar, Alan Jackson. “I Can’t Do That Anymore” is about a women who gave up her dreams to please her man and spends her days regretting it. These lyrics sting: “Now you’re Mr. Successful and I’m queen of the treadmill, trying to stay the size you think that I should stay/I used to dream about what I would be/last night I dreamed about a washing machine.” But it was important to address the topic and Faith’s voice was the vessel for this message.

  • Buy My Own Drinks- Runaway June

    This 2018 uptempo tune from the trio Runaway June served as an anthem to celebrate indepedence. Independence from a bad relationship and for being able to take care of yourself. Being self-sufficient is definitely worth pat on the back and a song to go with it: “I can buy my own drinks/And I can pay my own tab/And at the end of the night when they cut on all the lights/I can call my own cab.”

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