The work Anne Murray put in to pave a road from Canada to Nashville is again in the spotlight, as few in contemporary country have been able to follow. Over the last 10 years the charts have been nearly bare of Canadian-born talent, proving that while the countries are joined across many thousands of miles and the people speak the same language, it's not easy to be northern in a Southern town.

Murray's decade-long run on American country radio included hits like "Snowbird," "You Needed Me" and "A Little Good News," the latter winning Song of the Year at the 1978 ACM Awards. Artist No. 27 on this list of country music's most powerful women was a perennial Female Vocalist of the Year nominee known for a rich voice particularly well suited to romantic numbers. Like so many female country singers of her era, she would mix pop into her brand of country music, a trend that was becoming impossible to deny.

One can put stars like Shania Twain in her wake, as Murray opened new doors by becoming the first Canadian female to find success in Nashville. Throughout the '90s and early 2000s a dozen artists including Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Emerson Drive and Terri Clark would have hit records, but since then it's been a well that's dried up for reasons perhaps only Murray can point to.

Murray is now mostly retired, although she's authored a book and remained active on social media in recent years. The great female country singer is a multiple Grammy winner, and CMT named her amongst the greatest in country music in 2002.

It's the Ultimate Women In Country Music Playlist!

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