Country music legend;
Born: August 30, 1919; Died: July 16. 2012.
Kitty Wells, who has died aged 92 following complications after a stroke, was the first female superstar of country music, has died at 92.
Her solo recording career lasted from 1952 to the late 1970s and she made concert tours from the late 1930s until 2000. That year, she announced she was quitting the road, although she performed occasionally in Nashville and elsewhere afterwards. Her recording of It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels in 1952 was the first No 1 hit by a woman soloist on the country music charts. Other hits included Making Believe and a version of I Can't Stop Loving You. From 1953 to 1968, various polls listed Wells as the No 1 female country singer.
Tammy Wynette finally dethroned her, but she continued performing occasionally into her 80s. She recorded about 50 albums, had 25 Top 10 country hits and went around the world several times.
Her 1955 hit Making Believe was on the movie soundtrack of Mississippi Burning that was released 33 years later. Among her other hits were The Things I Might Have Been, Release Me, Amigo's Guitar, Heartbreak USA, Left To Right and a version of I Can't Stop Loving You.
She was born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville, the daughter of a railway brakeman. She began playing the guitar at 14 and was soon performing at dances in the Nashville area.
Wells married Johnny Wright, half of a duo called Johnny and Jack, in 1938 when she was not yet 20, and soon began touring with the duo. She took her stage name from an old folk song, Sweet Kitty Wells.
By the late 1940s, the couple, who had three children, were appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. Wright, who died last year, performed with her throughout her career and their long marriage.
She was modest, unassuming and was devoutly religious. She is survived by two children, Carol Sue and Bobby. Third child Ruby died in 2009.
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