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Published July 16 2012

First female superstar of country music, Kitty Wells, dies at age 92

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Without Kitty Wells, there might be no Taylor Swift. Or Miranda Lambert. Or Loretta Lynn.

She was THE pioneer, the first female singer with enough spunk and fire to get noticed in the male-dominated world of country music.

Think about it: No Tammy Wynette. No Tanya Tucker. No Carrie Underwood.

“Without her there wouldn't be a lot of us,” said Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard.

The family of country music's first female superstar said she died peacefully at home Monday after complications from a stroke. She was 92.