Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963), born Virginia Patterson Hensley, was an
American country music singer who enjoyed pop music crossover success during the era of the
Nashville sound in the early 1960s. Since her death in 1963 at age thirty in a private airplane crash
at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful, and
acclaimed female vocalists of the twentieth century.
Cline was best known for her rich tone and emotionally expressive bold contralto voice, which,
along with her role as a mover and shaker in the country music industry, has been cited as an inspiration
by many vocalists of various music genres. Her life and career have been the subject of numerous
books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.
Her hits included "Walkin' after Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You", "Crazy", and
"Sweet Dreams." Posthumously, millions of her albums have sold over the past fifty years. She has
earned numerous awards, which have given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends
Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist
inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Cline was voted by artists and members of the country music industry as number one
on CMT's television special, The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, and in 1999 she was voted
number eleven on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll by members and artists
of the rock industry. She was also ranked forty-sixth in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of all
Time. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings
is testimony to her artistic capacity."