Photo illustration featuring {L-R) Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain and Reba McEntire
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12 Artists on What They Learned From the Women of '90s Country


The women of '90s country provided a song for nearly every emotion and life event. Nostalgic for your first love? Pour a glass of "Strawberry Wine." Going off to college or making a major move? The Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces" is the key. Cheating partner? Crank up Patty Loveless' "Blame it On Your Heart." Had a bad date? Listen to Deana Carter's "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" and feel less alone. And if everything is falling apart and you just need a night out, turn to the book of Shania: No inhibitions, make no conditions, get a little outta line.

From Reba McEntire to LeAnn Rimes, the female country artists who helped define the '90s (and beyond) are endlessly inspiring. Even beyond their music, they've continued to lift up those who've followed in their footsteps, collaborating with rising artists and bringing the next generation of country phenoms on tour.

We caught up with 12 country artists to ask what they learned from the '90s country women who inspired a generation.

Reyna Roberts on The Chicks

Singer-songwriter Reyna Roberts, who recently toured with another one of her '90s heroes, Reba McEntire, says country trio the Chicks helped shape her approach to songwriting.


"The Chicks played a major role in my songwriting," Roberts says. "I've always loved their storytelling and vivid imagery. It took me to another world when I was a child. I performed their songs in front of my parents and their friends all the time!"

Carly Pearce on Patty Loveless

CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and ACM Female Artist of the Year Carly Pearce has been outspoken about the influence of  fellow Kentuckian Patty Loveless, who she recently collaborated with on the stunning "Dear Miss Loretta."

Back in 2021, Pearce reflected on the power of Loveless' "You Don't Even Know Who I Am."


"'You Don't Even Know Who I Am' by Patty Loveless was one of the first songs that made me fall deeply in love with country music and the intricacies of writing a song that reflected real life," Pearce told Wide Open Country last year. "I used to listen to it over and over, and I recently rediscovered its beauty this past year as I dove back into some of my favorite old records. It's a timeless heartbreak song."

Lainey Wilson on Lee Ann Womack

Reigning ACM New Female Artist and Song of the Year winner Lainey Wilson tips her hat to Lee Ann Womack.

"'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack left a mark on my heart," Wilson says. "My 6th grade teacher played it for us in class and told us that we could do anything that we set our minds to and it just made me feel something that day. I knew in that very moment that I wanted to make people feel the same exact way that Lee Ann made me feel listening to that song."


Harper Grae on Reba McEntire

Harper Grae, who recently released the poignant heartbreak song "Dying on the Vine," says she's always been drawn to Reba McEntire's vocals, storytelling and stage presence.

"Reba has always been a huge inspiration for me. From her detailed storytelling lyrics to her soaring melodies, I have always felt drawn to what she had to say," Grae says. "Even today she continues to inspire me by paving the way for country artists like myself to cross into stage and film. She is my ultimate icon through every decade and remains timeless. "

Sarah Ryder on Trisha Yearwood

For "Get Back" singer Sarah Ryder, her '90s country appreciation has come full circle.

"The 90s women of country inspired me so much. I mean, come on, what a decade of music! My faves include Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Trisha Yearwood. As a kid I would listen to Trisha's angel voice and it's crazy to think this many years later, I have written with and worked with most of her band! Her band leader produces my music, and that whole camp is just wonderful."

Liddy Clark on Shania Twain

From an early age, Liddy Clark was drawn to Shania Twain's powerful, assertive and vulnerable songs.

 "I grew up listening to [Shania's] music in my mom's car because she was such a huge fan," Clark says. "I love how she's able to express her power and femininity through her music, she's got such an incredible voice that's always captivated me."

Casi Joy on Martina McBride

Casi Joy grew up belting out Martina McBride songs and says McBride's powerhouse vocals played a significant role in her journey to becoming an artist.

"Martina McBride has always been such an inspiration to me, but especially when I was younger. I remember hearing 'Broken Wing' for the first time and was blown away by her range! I would scream that song in my room trying to hit those notes until my eyes felt like they were gonna pop out of my head," Joy says. "She was someone who made me want to keep pushing myself. She was a voice that seemed so unattainable, but I never stopped trying to sing that song. When I was 14 or so, my mom finally agreed it was safe to put in my set list, and I'll never forget the feeling of singing it on stage for the first time after so much work to get there. To this day, I still think Martina is one of the greatest voices of all time!"

Christian Parker on Reba McEntire

Christian Parker admires Reba McEntire not only for her obvious talent, but also for her tenacity and spirit.

"Reba McEntire is known as the 'Queen of Country' for a reason," Parker says. "Beyond her stellar vocals and entrepreneurial instincts, she embodies a kind of attitude that is hard to come by. Reba's 'no quit' sensibilities enabled her to reach sustained success in a very competitive industry and for that she is worthy of all her accolades."

Johnny Dailey on The Chicks

Johnny Dailey, who recently released his debut album Dillashaw, says The Chicks' gripping story songs inspired him from an early age.

"Personally, The Chicks really influenced me a lot growing up," Dailey says. "I've always been a fan of their songs because they are lyrically heavy, but have great melodies. Every time I hear their music is takes me back home."

Jordan Fletcher on Shania Twain

"Rather Be Broke" singer Jordan Fletcher admires Shania Twain for her songwriting prowess as well as her chart success.

" [Shania] had hits and still has some of the highest album sales of any artist in country music," Fletcher says. "She's a rockstar."

Drew Green on Patty Loveless

Tennessee-raised singer-songwriter Drew Green says country legend Patty Loveless recorded one of his favorite songs of the '90s.

"Patty Loveless easily has one of my favorite songs of all time and probably my most listened to track of the '90s: "You Don't Even Know Who I Am."

Jordana Bryant on Reba McEntire

Singer-songwriter Jordana Bryant points to Reba McEntire's authenticity and skills as an interpretor of songs.

"Her music is just so authentic and it feels like, no matter who you are, you can relate to it. Also, I love how every song is so visual that you can just close your eyes and picture it," Bryant says. "[Reba is] such an influential artist and she's been such a big inspiration of mine for what types of stories I want to tell with my music."

READ MORE: Let's Go Girls: 40 Women Who Shaped '90s Country

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