PHOTOS: Tammy Wynette Through the Years

It’s hard to believe it’s been 21 years since the world lost Tammy Wynette.

Known for her unmistakable twang, tear-jerking ballads, bright blonde bouffant hair and ever-evolving glamour, Wynette was a force in country music from the late 1960s all the way up until her passing in 1998.

Wynette’s art often imitated life, whether intentional or not. With songs like “Stand By Your Man,” “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” and the infamous George Jones duet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” at the forefront of her catalog, audiences knew that this was one woman bold enough to sing the truth and bare her soul for the sake of her music.

The singer would have been 77 years old today (May 5). To honor her memory, we’ve collected some of our favorite photos of the late legend:

  1. A young newcomer

    This photo perfectly captures Wynette at the start of her journey.

  2. The blonder the better

    Wynette appearing on an espisode of Midnight Special.

  3. “Tutti Frutti”

    Tammy and her then-husband George Jones pose with Little Richard … whoo!

  4. International superstar

    Wynette’s success was not just national; it was global. Here she is performing at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, in 1975.

  5. Just regular folks

    Wynette and Jones shop at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor in 1973.

  6. Tammy and Dottie

    Nothing to see here, folks, just two iconic artists hanging out at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1981.

  7. Big hair, don’t care

    Photo by David Redfern/Redferns

    Of course, she always had the biggest and best hair around, even under a hat. Wynette had a home salon and her cosmetology license, which she kept current until the 1980s just in case country music didn’t work out.

  8. Me and Mr. Jones

    Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images

  9. A place to call home

    Outside the gates of her Nashville home in 1982, the place she would pass in 1998.

  10. Adorned in gold

    And this one just because this is a portrait. Aspiring divas, take notes.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.