It’s strange to think that the best female country singers of the 2000s were making an impact in music two decades ago—and some of them are still very much going strong today. So without further ado, here are our picks for the top country singers we absolutely loved during the first decade of the 2000s.
Female Country Singers of the 2000s
Let’s begin with the uber-talented Carrie Underwood.
The early 2000s were a popular time for the reality show, American Idol. Not many of the artists that come from the show turn out to be country music artists, but Carrie Underwood was one of the first. No one expected anything like Underwood to storm through the industry, and she took the world by surprise.
Underwood debuted with her first released single, Inside Your Heaven, in 2005. It skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart immediately. It’s also the only single by a solo artist to reach number one in the decade. After her debut, she took that momentum and dominated the industry. Single after single has topped the charts all over the world.
While her success is a tell all, it’s her voice that really needs to be heard to be understood. Underwood has been praised for her vocal range; it’s said she can hit any note. But her talent goes beyond her vocal range; she’s known to hold notes for an extended period of time. Underwood’s voice is truly incomparable.
Magazine after magazine has praised her voice and the legacy she is leaving behind, with Time calling her one of their 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. The number of awards and achievements is immeasurable. She is surely the most awarded country artist that ever lived. But, aside from all of that, she still finds time for charity work beyond any other. She is an unprecedented success, with a family to support her.
- Favorite Carrie Underwood Song:
There are obviously a great number of amazing songs by Carrie Underwood, so choosing one song is quite difficult. However, from the self-titled album comes the single, Some Hearts, my personal favorite. The song starts out somewhat somber, then quickly moves to an upbeat sound.
The lyrics are a relatable love story, and the tune is in a style that was incredibly popular for that time frame. Her vocal range is showcased very well with this song, and Underwood’s strong voice never shakes. It’s one of h/ier first songs, one that I’ve listened to for 17 years and never gotten tired of.
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Her career began in the mid 90s. Faith Hill was an extremely popular artist through the 2000s. Her success began with her debut albums, Take Me As I Am and It Matters to Me, and it hasn’t stopped since. Hill is known for more than just her singing voice, but also her acting career and her marriage to Tim McGraw.
Towards the end of the 90s decade, Hill crossed over into pop. However, by 2005, Hill had reemerged in the country music industry, ready to turn heads. Her new country album, Fireflies, topped not only the country charts but numerous other charts as well. She continued to release single after single and album after successful album.
As mentioned, Hill’s success hinged on more than just her solo career. She is also well known for her performances with her husband, Tim McGraw. They have released several singles, worked together on stage and offstage, created a number of music videos, and even worked together on a number of television projects. Hill is also the signature voice for the NFL on NBC Sunday Night Football.
Hill has moved on to touring and creating hit albums. Her music has been featured on a number of TV shows, for which she has received awards. That’s among the many awards and accolades she’s received over a couple decades-long career. Hill has dabbled in the fragrance business in addition to her work in the entertainment industry and has produced a number of delectable scents.
- Favorite Faith Hill Song
The list of incredible Faith Hill songs only ends when you run out of her songs. However, there is one that is, truthfully, beyond phenomenal. Her extraordinary single, Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me, is not only one of my favorite Hill songs, but one of my favorite songs in general.
Hill is known for the passion she has, and you can hear that clearly as she sings this song. The lyrics are relatable for many in possibly failing relationships, and they are easy to take comfort in. Her staggering talent is showcased in every single recording of the song. It’s truly unbelievable.
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While her career began in the early 90s, Martina McBride’s music was extremely popular through the 2000s. She is frequently compared to Faith Hill or Shania Twain, and her musical taste is very different from that of traditional country music. But, truth be told, that’s why we fell in love with her.
McBride had a string of major hit singles from 1995 through the early 2000s. Of these singles, five of them hit number one on the country charts, and one hit the top of the adult contemporary chart in 2003. These hits are memorialized by the awards and nominations received because of them. She’s a 14-time Grammy Award nominee, CMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year four times, and so much more.
Beyond the recording studio, McBride strives to bring awareness to the victims of cancer. Her single, Just Around The Corner, is the official Band Against Cancer Anthem. McBride is incredibly active in charity work, from being the spokeswoman for the Tulsa Domestic Violence and Intervention Services to hosting celebrity auctions. She has toured the United States as the movement’s headliner. McBride was selected as one of only 30 other artists to perform, Forever Country, in celebration of 50 years of the CMA Awards.
McBride’s career has been incredibly successful, including being a four-time Female Vocalist of the Year and a 14-time Grammy Award nominee. She has won a number of awards besides those, and has been nominated for even more. Most of this hinged on her popularity through the 90s and 00s. McBride will be leaving an incredible legacy behind her.
- Favorite Martina McBride Song:
McBride has a number of incredible songs, but in my opinion, her best song is Where Would You Be, a 2001 hit from her Greatest Hits album. Her soprano singing voice is showcased beautifully throughout the entire song. The lyrics are heartbreakingly emotional. When McBride sings the lyrics, you can hear the emotion and passion in her voice. It’s an absolutely breathtaking song, and an especially relatable one.
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At 14 years old, Taylor Swift moved with her family to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her dreams of becoming a country music artist. It wasn’t long before she signed a contract and started releasing albums. Her debut was self-titled, Taylor Swift, and it made her the very first female country artist to write/co-write a United States platinum-certified album solo.
Even though Swift was young and “green,” she made instant headway in the industry. Teenage girls all over the nation took a liking to her relatable life stories. They were all about teenage love and puppy love heartbreak. Her success was rapid, and she never slowed down.
Swift made a crossover into country-pop and the pop music industry, and she earned herself an entire community of teenage fans. Songs like We Are Never Getting Back Together and Shake It Off won her a number of awards and nominations.
As a teen idol and a pop icon, Swift is known for her politeness and open personality. She is regarded as being a very generous young lady, especially to her sizable fan base. Her success is proven by her accolades, nominations, and awards. She has won 11 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, the most American Music Awards (34) and so many more.
- Favorite Taylor Swift Song:
When it comes to my favorite Taylor Swift songs, the choice is simple. Tim McGraw, from the self-titled album, is a personal favorite for its simplicity and melody. It’s an incredibly sweet and mellow love song, reminding me of my own relationship. Her voice is one of a kind, and her talents are showcased in this piece.
Last, but most definitely not least, is Miranda Lambert. What a breath of fresh air she is when it comes to her style of country music. Vengeful yet powerful, she is all about singing from the gut. She is definitely considered controversial compared to other artists.
Lambert has quite a personality; it shines through in every song she sings. She is an example of a rebellious country woman. Songs like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Kerosene are examples of that. She is all about the power of women and standing up for yourself. Born and raised in Texas, it looks good on her.
She briefly put her solo career on hold to work on her Pistol Annies project, releasing two albums with the band. Lambert also had a number of holiday releases with ex-husband Blake Shelton. Beyond her music career, Lambert dabbled a bit in acting, appearing on Law & Order: SVU.
In addition to her accolades and nominations, Lambert’s legacy transcends her work in the entertainment sector. She has released a line of boots and shoes and opened the MuttNation Foundation with her mother, Bev. She is an incredibly strong soul who sets out to help those she can and provide a sense of comfort through her music.
- Favorite Miranda Lambert Song:
Choosing a favorite Miranda Lambert song is difficult; all her music is just incredible. But, I’d have to choose Gunpowder & Lead, from her 2007 album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The song is all-around badass, from lyrics to instrumentals. Steel guitars increase the tension, and her voice is strong, never-wavering. Lambert is an amazing artist.
Let’s heap some praise on Kelly Clarkson.
Before Carrie Underwood came American Idol’s very first winner, Kelly Clarkson, in 2002. With her victory came a record deal with RCA, where she released her debut single, A Moment Like This, which became the best-selling single in country music in 2002. From there, Clarkson has risen to the top of multiple industry genres, exceeding expectations quickly.
Clarkson has had a great many number one singles and albums, topping charts internationally repeatedly and breaking worldwide records. She is known for a number of extremely popular songs, even including promotional releases for the NFL and Pepsi. She has even released a number of Christmas albums that are popular every year during the holiday season.
Besides the music industry, Clarkson has become a popular face all over the entertainment industry. She became such a mentor and inspiration for other artists that she was asked to be a judge on the reality vocal competition show, The Voice. Her voice has been featured in a number of films alongside other incredible talents. After being a guest host on a number of TV specials, variety shows, and more, Clarkson finally began hosting her own daytime variety talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
She’s also extremely active in giving back to the community through charity campaigns. Clarkson is the spokeswoman for a number of campaigns, performs for charity work, and gives back in so many other ways. Her awards and accolades are endless: Grammys, nominations, and so many more. Clarkson is an incredible woman, despite the obstacles that females in the entertainment industry face.
- Favorite Kelly Clarkson Song:
Kelly Clarkson has a way of making women feel powerful, no matter their situation. A great number of her songs are related to victims of any kind of abuse. But abuse victims are not the only women who feel empowered by her music. Most of us can find something relatable in her songs: childhood trauma, emotional/financial abuse, domestic violence, and so much more. That’s why it’s difficult to choose a favorite song when it comes to Clarkson.
However, two songs stand out in my mind when I think of Clarkson. The first, Mr. Know It All, is sung from the perspective of confronting a narcissistic partner. Fighting back for your voice as a person, and your independence and ability to be yourself. The other, Piece by Piece, addresses childhood trauma that a great many of us are still dealing with the effects of. Truth be told, every single time I hear this song, I end up with tears flowing down my cheeks. She is a light at the end of the tunnel, proving you can get through anything and come out better on the other side.
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Wrapping It Up
Women were really just “built differently” in the 2000s, as a new type of strong and independent woman was emerging. And the best female country singers of the 2000s were just a hint of what was to come in the country genre and the music industry as a while.