The list of female country singers who have burst on the scene before they were old enough to drive is as long as a breakup ballad. So the fact Tanya Tucker hit it big at age 13—when her debut single “Delta Dawn” reached No. 6 on the charts—isn’t all that remarkable. Here’s what is remarkable: She followed that initial splash with a decorated career that has lasted 45 years. In this regard, Tucker is part of an exclusive club whose members include such legends as Brenda Lee, Dolly Parton and Barbara Mandrell.

In Tucker’s case, success has looked like this: 24 studio albums, nine of which were top 10 on the U.S. country charts, including one that reached No. 1; 67 singles on the U.S. country charts, including 10 that hit No. 1; and nine Grammy nominations. Tucker enjoyed crossover appeal, not unlike two modern-day female artists: Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, both arriving on the country scene as teens and becoming mega pop stars—and both of whom are quite a way from matching Tucker’s longevity.

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