Country Music Pioneer Kitty Wells Dies At 92
Kitty Wells, birth name Ellen Muriel Deason, who is credited as the first female star of country music and sang such tunes as 1952's "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," as well as "Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down," "Mommy for a Day," "Will Your Lawyer Talk to God," and "A Woman Half My Age," died on Monday from complications of a stroke at her home in Nashville at the age of 92.
Wells began her career as a teenager growing up in Nashville after her father taught her how to play the guitar, reports the Washington Post. In 1937, she married country singer Johnnie Wright, who gave her the stage name Kitty Wells. Wright died just last year before the couple's 74th wedding anniversary. They had three children together, Ruby, Carol Sue and Bobby. Ruby passed away at the age of 69 in 2009, two years before her father, Wright.
Wells, who was the first female artist to sell a million copies of a record, was welcomed into the Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 1976. Less than a decade later, she received the Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award, and in 1991 she took home the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Celebs took to Twitter to share their reactions to Wells' death. "1st female country superstar Kitty Wells died," Taylor Swift tweeted on Monday. Country music sensation Loretta Lynn, 77, also tweeted her sentiments. "Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times. She was my hero. If I'd have never heard of Kitty Wells, I don't think I would have been a singer myself."
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