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Megan Vaughan

Are These The Best Female Country Singers of All Time?

A new study by Studyfinds.com shows the “Best Female Country Singers of All Time”, and I’m really not gonna argue this one.

 

The List: Best Female Country Singers of All Time, Per Critics and Fans

 

1. Dolly Parton
The top spot on the list goes to perhaps the most influential country singer ever, Dolly Parton. This famous blondie appeared in the top spot across 70 percent of the sites referenced. Dolly isn’t just known for having one of the best amusement parks in the South, but her iconic status as one of the best in country will last long after she’s gone.

2. Loretta Lynn
The Coal Miner’s Daughter was the clear choice for second. Simply put, Loretta Lynn is a country music icon.

3. Reba McEntire
The red-headed country legend appeared on 70 percent of the sites we referenced and for good reason. Reba is recognizable by her first name alone, and that notoriety even helped her land her own TV show. Through it all, Reba has remained true to her country music roots.

4. Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline is responsible for some of the most iconic country music songs of all time and is beyond deserving of her place as one of the best.

Cline recorded these hits before she was lost in a tragic plane crash.

5. Carrie Underwood 
The former ‘American Idol’ winner is one of the most decorated female singers of all time. “… Underwood has maintained her chart-topping success. Her career has gone on for nearly two decades, earning her over a hundred awards from various organizations, which has given Underwood the outstanding title of the most awarded country singer of all time.”

Check the full article here

Honorable Mention: Miranda Lambert.  I just think they should have put her somewhere in there because, well, she’s a badass!

 

Who would you put as the top 5 Female Country Singers? Comment below!

Lukas Nelson Feat. Lainey Wilson “More Than Friends”

Lukas Nelson (Yes, one of Willie Nelson’s sons!) and his band “Promise of the Real”  just released a collab with Lainey Wilson, so of course, I had to check it out!

It’s called “More Than Friends” and it’s pretty damn catchy!

Lainey is like the perfect ingredient for any Country music song. Her voice and total vibe is perfection!

Also, Lukas Nelson and The Real have a new album “Sticks and Stones” out July 14th if you want more.

 

 

Ed Sheeran “Eyes Closed”

Ed Sheeran just dropped his new singles early this morning, and it just makes my heart happy.

It’s like he doesn’t know how to disappoint, and I’m fine with that!

Off his upcoming album “Subtract” here’s the first single “Eyes Closed”.

Annnnnddd there’s another #1 for Ed.  Emotional, catchy, great hook and lyrics, beautiful vocals… all the stuff Ed is made of.

I’ve always respected him as an artist, and he’s the real deal. He’ll be one of those that decades down the road, he’ll still be a constant force in music.

 

Ed’s new album “Subtract” comes out May 5th, and with a lead single like this, I can’t wait for the rest!

 

 

Ashley McBryde SLAYS Rolling Stone Cover!

I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan (Stones > Beatles, always!) and I’m a huge Country Music fan as well.

So, when I saw that “Stoned Cold Country”- an album featuring some of Country’s best artists, like Brooks and Dunn to Eric Church to Lainey Wilson- covering Rolling Stones classics, you know I had to go check it out RIGHT THEN!

One of the highlights?

Ashley McBryde covering “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Dudeeee… she just nailed the HELL out of that!

My 1 year old was jamming out in his play pen when I was streaming it. He’s clearly got excellent taste!

Check out all the covers on “Stoned Cold Country” out now.

There’s some pretty good ones on there!

Oh No, It’s Endo!

I normally shy away from getting super personal, but after a lot of thought and years of rolling it around in my mind, I figured I would share my story of dealing with Endometriosis.  Mainly because it’s a terrible condition that 11% of women suffer from, but it’s still not talked about enough- because, you know, periods are still a taboo topic in modern society. This leads to misdiagnosis, shame, and infertility.  I should know, because I got all three.  I figure if I can get even one young woman diagnosed and save her from what I went through, then this overshare is totally worth it!

First off, what is Endometriosis? Here’s the definition via The Mayo Clinic: “Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis.”  So, basically, you have extra gunk growing in your uterus and when it’s that time of the month, it sheds with everything else, often causing extreme pain.  I mean, debilitating “I think my uterus is trying to murder me” pain. It can also cause adhesions, scarring, and is the leading cause of infertility, because all that fun stuff damages your eggs. Fun fact: You are born with the amount of eggs you have for life, so it’s not like you can generate new ones.  Kind of a flaw in the system if you ask me.

I honestly didn’t even know what Endo was until I was 27.  I started having really bad periods in my early twenties, and was a little concerned, because they started out of nowhere. I asked my doctor, and he said “It’s normal- try Midol”. Yeah, that doesn’t work, but ok.  When I was 24, I got really sick one night on my period and my husband took me to the hospital at Fort Stewart, GA.  I was almost delusional with pain, dizzy, had to leave work, etc.  I was told by the doctor there that I had “Dysmenorrhea” AKA “Painful Periods” (No, really? Thanks, doc.) and was told to take a Ibuprofen and get over it.  I felt so ashamed leaving the hospital, because I felt like I was being a drama queen and was making a big deal about nothing.  So I suffered for another three years until one day after my period started, I was in so much pain on my way to work, I literally almost had a wreck on I95 because I couldn’t concentrate on driving- AFTER taking four Ibuprofens that morning.  I also bled right through my pads twice that week within an hour each, staining the chair at work.  Fed up, I went to a different doctor, who told me I may have something called Endometriosis.  The problem is, the only way to diagnose it is with laparoscopic surgery -where they stick a little tube in your abdomen and diagnose and cut out tissue.  So, they did the surgery, and BINGO! Endo everywhere AND my tubes were wrapped up in scar tissue. They cleaned it out, and I got pregnant for the first time the next Spring, only to have a miscarriage three weeks later.  I figured I could easily get pregnant again. HA! Yeah, not so much.  And to make matters worse, Endo comes back. It’s like Kudzu in the South- just grows over EVERYTHING and you can’t kill it.

Uterine Kudzu. I like that.  Maybe that should go in a medical journal?

 

Since Endo comes back, I had four more surgeries to clean out the Endo and adhesions until the doctor said I could have no more.  Because, every time you have a surgery, you get MORE scar tissue. The last Laparoscopy I had, my bowels were glued to my pelvic wall by adhesions, and at this point the only way to cure it all is just have a full hysterectomy- where they take out the uterus. The problem is, I wanted a child.  You kind of need a uterus for that I hear.  And one of the only things you can do to relieve the pain is birth control.  So, I got to be on hella pain medication a few days a month because Ibuprofen and Midol is absolute crap.  Do you know how hard it is to get decent medicine to treat chronic pain?  Oh my gosh, they treat you like you are a drug addict. To be fair, there IS an opioid crisis in our country, but that really puts people like me- who have severe chronic pain- in a terrible position.  The only way to function with Stage 4 Endo is medication or Hysterectomy. This is the choice we get.  And you get shamed for both.  So, yeah, it’s been a super fun 13 years dealing with this!

One of the hardest parts – aside from severe pain- is the absolute shame that comes with it.  I would be working, and the pain would hit, and I couldn’t tell anyone.  Imagine trying to be live on the air while having a knife slice through your abdomen and you have to smile through it, because you don’t want to tell people what is wrong with you. Or be in a meeting with a bunch of men, and trying not to pass out.  It’s an embarrassing condition to have, as menstruation is still such a taboo topic. So many times, I had to cancel plans with friends due to the pain, and let’s not get started on the bloat! I looked like I was pregnant at times, because my stomach would swell so badly! But what do you tell people?  No one wants to hear about it or talk about it because it’s “gross”.  Ok, it is gross, but what the hell are we supposed to do about it?  And then there’s the infertility.  I was unable to conceive again, and it was heartbreaking. We tried everything we could, and kind of kept it to ourselves, save close family and friends.  So this led to the constant question: “When are you having kids?”  Or “Why don’t you want kids?” Or just the speculation- so many friends would tell me I was too skinny, worked out too much, drank too much wine (lies) or was too stressed… and I didn’t want to tell them the truth, because it was embarrassing.  Oh! And then all the friends that sell stuff on Facebook, like essential oils and isometrics or whatever would target me and tell me their stupid product would get me pregnant! I kid you not.  Please, if you have an infertile friend, just…don’t.  The only thing you can do is to feed them wine and tell them they’re pretty.  That always helps!

Thankfully I was able to concieve via IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and have a gorgeous 17 month old boy to show for it.   For me, it was the only way I could ever procreate on my own due to endometriosis damaging my eggs. It’s an extremely expensive and physically/emotionally draining procedure- but it’s worth it!  But I would like to keep other women from having to go through what I went through. I just turned 40, and I am at the end of my reprodcutive years.  We did IVF again last year, and the embryo transfer failed last month.  We will try one more time next month, and then I’m done.  My doctor said I really need a hysterectomy , especially as I had a C-section to deliver Brandon. So, more adhesions! (Yayyyyy).  So I’m in pain 2 weeks out of the month now, and it’s getting to be really frustrating, to say the least. The only thing I can do is take medication and ride it out.

I know this is a long post, but it’s something I’ve been dealing with and finally felt like sharing. Had more been known about this condition when I was younger, or less shame involved with women’s cycles, perhaps I would have been more of an advocate for myself and my reproductive health. Maybe I would have frozen my eggs like so many are doing these days! It was never an option given to me 5-10 years ago.

Here are some symptoms of Endo. I had them all.

If you are a woman, and you are having severe period pain, don’t be ashamed. Get to your doctor NOW and see if you can get a diagnosis.  Don’t be shamed into thinking you’re a wimp.  You’re totally not. The pain is ridiculous, and no woman should ever have to go through it on just Midol.  The medical community needs to step up and do better.  You deserve it!

Luke Grimes “Oh, Ohio”

Luke Grimes AKA “Kacey Dutton” on “Yellowstone” is really getting into this Country music thing!

A couple of months ago, he released “No Horse to Ride”, and he just put out his latest effort – a homage to his home state- called “Oh Ohio” and I like it even better!

I am really liking Luke’s sound, and it’s got some pretty good lyrics, like “But I’d be like them fireflies burned out in them jars”.

I’m a sucker for imagery.

And I’m a sucker for a true Country sound, and it seems like Luke’s got it!

He is currently working on his debut album, so I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, no word on what the heck is happening with “Yellowstone”…

Luke Combs “Five Leaf Clover”

Luke Combs just keeps those fire singles coming!

He dropped his latest “Five Leaf Clover” this morning- because, Saint Patricks Day- and damn, it’s good.

Really good.

Melodic, relatable and true Country.  The game cam line reminds me of my husband- I’ve heard that line many of times!  And I can relate as I have been extremely lucky thus far.  I definitely have a five-leaf clover, and I am so, so appreciative of all the good things I have.  Not trying to brag or anything, but this song just hits home and reminds me of the good things. Family, a career I love, and some amazing friends (and some great fur babies!)

I know I post a lot about Luke, but hot damn, he keeps putting out songs worthy of mentioning.  And I’m sure there will be plenty more off of his upcoming album “Getin’ Old” which comes out in a week- March 24th!

Calling it another chart topper. Watch out Morgan Wallen!

 

 

Axl Rose and Carrie Underwood Rocking Out!

I’m really envious of Carrie Underwood.

Not just those pipes and those legs, but getting to perform with Axl Rose (One of my Rock Idols) several times recently? I mean, DAMN, girl.

#RESPECT

I love that Carrie has this side of her. I always wrote her off as a prissy girly-girl, but damn can she rock.  Turns out she’s a big fan of Classic Rock and metal, and she can certainly deliver the goods.

It’s really cool to see the “other” side of Carrie.  This combined with her love of fitness and red wine, well, hot damn, maybe we can be friends after all!  She’s been gaining some serious cool points with me lately.

 

Oooohhhh… maybe a Rock album is in her future?

I would support the fire out of that.

 

Lady Gaga is the QUEEN!

I don’t watch the Oscars.

I’m not that into movies, and let’s be real, until this year, very few of the nominated films were ones that the average person would recognize.  Also, the politicizing of anything and everything Hollywood has really turned me off of it.

So, yeah, totally didn’t watch last night. I watched a rodeo instead on CBS Sports.

But this morning while doing my usual coffee and radio show prep routine, I saw that Lady Gaga DID perform at The Oscars after all (she originally wasn’t planning to) and being a fan of hers, I had to check the performance out.

WOAH.

I absolutely LOVE that she not only slayed the vocals (as per usual) but that she just washed her face and showed up completely make-up free and unadorned.  I actually like her better this way. Just raw talent.

Can we normalize women NOT being all glammed up all the time in Hollywood?  Because it’s exhausting.  It really is.  Plus, noone looks like a Kardashian in real life. Not even they do.

I just really love this performance, and think it’s one of Gaga’s best.

Just wanted to pass it along in case you’re like me and give zero flips about the Oscars.

 

Is there anything she can’t do?

 

Tim McGraw “Standing Room Only”

Tim McGraw is just a Country Music staple, and there’s a reason for that. Since the mid-90’s, he has consistently put out great Country music (we’ll just forget about “Truck Yeah”, ok?).  Tim has been promising some new music for the past six months, and he came through yesterday with his new single “Standing Room Only”.

I mean, in the end, that’s all that matter, right?  The impact that you leave behind…

Well done, Tim, and I’m sure we’ll be getting a new album announcement soon!