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      Tammy Wynette

      Tammy Wynette

      Highest Rated: Not Available

      Lowest Rated: Not Available

      Birthday: May 5, 1942

      Birthplace: Itawamba County, Mississippi, USA

      Though she became inextricably associated with one of country's most non-feminist hits, Tammy Wynette also cut songs that challenged traditional notions of gender dynamics and family at a time when the women's movement was a world apart from Nashville. Born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Tremont, Mississippi on May 5, 1942, she had a hardscrabble youth, and was raised by her grandparents. Her father, who died when she was an infant, had been a musician, and she eventually taught herself to play his old instruments. By the mid '60s, Wynette was pursuing country music professionally, and she made the move to Nashville in 1966, where producer Billy Sherrill soon got her a deal with Epic. The label released "Apartment No. 9," her debut single, at the end of that year. But it was her next single, 1967's "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," that gave her a No. 3 country hit. This started a run of big hits that lasted more than a decade, like "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "I Don't Wanna Play House." Her '68 single "Stand By Your Man" became not just her biggest song ever, but one of the biggest country hits of all time. In 1969, Wynette married George Jones, her third husband, and the two started making records together, becoming perhaps the biggest power couple in country music history. Their string of duet hits, which lasted longer than their tempestuous marriage, kicked off with 1971's "Take Me" and continued through 1980 with classics like "Golden Ring" and "We're Gonna Hold On." Wynette and Jones divorced in 1975, and she had no shortage of solo hits afterwards, including "'Til I Can Make It on My Own" and "You and Me." Though the Top 10 tunes stopped coming by the mid '80s, Wynette never quit working or scoring hit singles. She was only 55 when she died of a blood clot in her lungs on April 6, 1998 in Nashville, leaving behind a legacy as one of country's preeminent female superstars.



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