Great country women like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire left an indelible mark on the genre, changing the rules and tilting the balance back toward fair and equal. A generation or two later, a dozen modern country stars and newcomers are doing the same thing.

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. In some cases — see Hillary Scott and Miranda Lambert — it's an intentional mention or inclusion. The more veteran artists on this list recognize they're responsible for helping females that are just starting.

Beyond all this, the 12 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.

Perennial headliners, recent CMA and Grammy Award winners and Taste of Country RISERS make up this list.

These Country Ladies Are Blazing Trails:

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