Kitty Wells, 'Queen of Country Music,' dies - WSMV Channel 4

Kitty Wells, 'Queen of Country Music,' dies

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Kitty Wells, the "Queen of Country Music," died Monday from complications after a stroke. She was 92.

Wells, born Ellen Muriel Deason, was country music's first female superstar and became the first female singer to reach No. 1 in the country music charts with her 1952 song It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.

She spent the next two decades as one of the most well-known names in country.

In 1976, Wells was the second female singer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, following only Patsy Cline.

Her other accolades include the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Recording Industry and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

"She could sing about honky tonk themes and divorce and the effect divorce had on children and the pain men and women inflicted on each other, and that was true not only in her own songs but also in some very famous duets she did," said John Rumble, historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton were among the many artists heavily influenced by Wells' mark in the industry.

Wells' husband of more than 70 years, Johnnie Wright, died in 2011.

In lieu of flowers, Wells' family asks for donations to Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, in the name of the Kitty Wells/Johnnie Wright Scholarship Fund.

Visitation will be Thursday at the Hendersonville Church of Christ from 2-8 p.m. Her funeral will be Friday at 1 p.m. at the church.

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