Tammy Wynette (born Virginia Wynette Pugh; May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998) was an American country music singer, considered among the genre's most influential and successful artists. Along with Loretta Lynn, Wynette helped bring a woman's perspective to the male-dominated country music field that helped other women find representation in the genre. Her characteristic vocal delivery has been acclaimed by critics, journalists and writers for conveying unique emotion. Twenty of her singles topped the Billboard country chart during her career. Her signature song "Stand by Your Man" received both acclaim and criticism for its portrayal of women's loyalty towards their husbands. Wynette was born and raised near Tremont, a small town in Itawamba County, Mississippi, by her mother, stepfather, and maternal grandparents. During childhood, Wynette picked cotton on her family's farm but also had aspirations of becoming a singer. She performed music through her teen years and married Euple Byrd at age 17. With several marital setbacks, Wynette enrolled in cosmetology school and later appeared on a local country music television program. Wynette then divorced and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a country music career in 1965. She soon met her second husband, Don Chapel, and eventually signed with Epic Records. Under the production of Billy Sherrill, her first single, "Apartment No. 9", was released in 1966. In 1967, she had her first commercial success with the single "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad". In the late sixties, Wynette's career rose further with the number one Billboard country singles "I Don't Wanna Play House", "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and the self-penned "Stand by Your Man". As her career entered the 1970s, Wynette was among country music's most popular artists and regularly topped the charts. During the same time, she met and married fellow country artist George Jones. The pair had a recording career together that resulted in several number one country singles and a successful touring act. However, their relationship was tumultuous and they divorced in 1975. Following their separation Wynette returned as a headlining solo performer. She also continued to have singles regularly make the upper reaches of the country charts into the 1980s. During this time, she also acted on several television shows, including Capitol (1986). Wynette had several more high-profile relationships before marrying her final husband, George Richey, in 1978. Several intestinal health problems led to hospitalizations and addictions to prescription pain killers, the latter of which was said to have led to her death in 1998. Wynette has sold an estimated 30 million records worldwide. She has received two Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. Wynette was also among country music's first female performers to have discs certify gold and platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Her influence as a country music artist led to several inductions into music associations. This includes inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.