Female country legends like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire have left an indelible mark on the genre, changing the rules and tilting the balance toward fair and equal representation.

Now, as the older generation continues to kick down doors and shape the landscape of country music, a new crop of talented women are joining them to become the genre's next female powerhouses.

This list of female artists proves that while there's still imbalance, there's a growing movement to achieve equality. Women are paving new roads and holding doors open for other women in ways their male counterparts are not.

These women lead by example as well as going out of their way to broaden the road for their fellow female artists on the radio airwaves and the stage: For example, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert are two artists who've intentionally staffed their tours with an entirely female bill, and Brandi Carlile's Girls Just Wanna Weekend delivers a full festival lineup of women.

Lainey Wilson, Lauren Alaina and Ashley McBryde all prove that women can be successful without compromising their individuality for country music trends. Carly Pearce and Megan Moroney pair traditionalism with innovation to hone their reputations as two of the genre's sharpest young songwriters, while acts like Mickey Guyton and Rissi Palmer work tirelessly to expand the marginalized perspective of Black women in the genre.

Beyond all this, the 25 female artists named on this list of trailblazers are cutting their own path musically. No two sound alike, and no matter how you feel about country radio or any of the dozen individually you'll agree likely agree that diversity is a good thing.

25 Modern Female Trailblazers Who Changed Country Music

Following in the footsteps of game-changing legends like Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Loretta Lynn, these 25 modern-day country acts continue to push boundaries and shape the country music landscape. Whether they're experimenting with musical style and sound, fighting for equality in the genre or broadening the path for the women coming to country music after them, these trailblazers are downright inspiring.

Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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