Constance June Meador
August 14, 1941
Elkhart, Indiana, U.S.
Connie Smith (born Constance June Meador; August 14, 1941) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Her contralto vocals have been described by music writers as significant and influential to the women of country music. A similarity has been noted between her vocal style and the stylings of country vocalist Patsy Cline. Other performers have cited Smith as influence on their own singing styles, which has been reflected in quotes and interviews over the years.
Discovered in 1963, Smith signed with RCA Victor Records the following year and remained with the label until 1973. Her debut single "Once a Day" was nominated at the Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in November 1964 and remained at the top position for eight weeks, the first time a female artist had achieved this feat, with Smith holding the record for over 50 years until it was broken by Taylor Swift. The song became Smith's biggest hit and . Smith's success continued through 1960s and mid 1970s with 19 more top-ten hits (including "Then and Only Then"; "Ain't Had No Lovin'"; "Cincinnati, Ohio"; "I Never Once Stopped Loving You"; and "Ain't Love a Good Thing") on the country songs chart.
In the early 1970s, Smith began recording Gospel music more frequently as she became more serious in her Christianity. As she focused more heavily on religion, Smith became known for her outspoken religious demeanor at concerts and music venues. At the same time, Smith spent more time raising her five children than focusing on music. She eventually went into semi-retirement in 1979. Smith would return to recording briefly in the mid 1980s with Epic Records. However, it was not until her collaboration with Marty Stuart in the 1990s that she returned permanently. Their musical friendship would turn romantic, leading to their marriage in 1997. The pairing led to Smith's first studio album in 20 years, Connie Smith. Critically acclaimed, Smith began performing again and has since recorded two more studio albums.
Smith has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, including eight nominations for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. She has also been nominated for 1 Academy of Country Music award and 3 Country Music Association awards. Rolling Stone included her on their list of the 100 greatest country music artists and CMT ranked her among the top ten in their list of the 40 greatest women of country music. She has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast since 1965. In 2012, Smith was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Connie Smith was born Constance June Meador on August 14, 1941, to Wilma and Hobart Meador in Elkhart, Indiana. Her parents were originally from West Virginia, and when Smith was five months old, the family returned there. They would later move to Dungannon, Ohio. Her father was abusive when she was a child, which would eventually cause her to suffer a mental breakdown when she was a teenager.
At age seven, her mother divorced her father and married Tom Clark. Clark brought 8 children to the new marriage; Meador brought five, including Smith. The couple would eventually have two more children together, which in total added up to fifteen children. As a child, Smith was surrounded by music. Her stepfather played mandolin, while her brother played fiddle, and her other brother played guitar. On Saturday nights Smith would listen to the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast. While she was a teenager, she was injured in a lawnmower accident, which nearly cut her leg off. While in the hospital recovering, she was given a guitar and learned how to play different chords. Following the recovery, she began to perform in various local talent contests. In 1959, Smith graduated from Salem-Liberty High School as the class salutatorian.
In August 1963, she entered a talent contest at the Frontier Ranch country music park near Columbus, Ohio. Performing Jean Shepard's "I Thought of You", Smith won the talent contest and five silver dollars. That day at the park, country artist Bill Anderson heard Smith perform and was impressed by her voice. In January 1964, Smith ran into Anderson again at a country music package concert, where he invited her to perform with him on Ernest Tubb's Midnite Jamboree program in Nashville, Tennessee. After performing on the program, Smith returned to Nashville that May to record demos by Anderson that he planned on pitching to other country artists. Anderson's manager Hubert Long brought the demo recording to RCA Victor Records, where producer Chet Atkins heard it. Also impressed by her vocals, Atkins offered Smith a recording contract, and she eventually signed with the label on June 24, 1964.
1964–1967: "Once a Day" and breakthrough
Because Chet Atkins found himself too busy with other artists, Bob Ferguson acted as Smith's producer on her first sessions and would continue to work as her producer until her departure from RCA. Smith's first session took place on July 16, 1964, where she recorded four songs, three of which were written by Bill Anderson. One of the four songs recorded during the session entitled "Once a Day" was chosen to be Smith's debut single. The song was rush-released as a single in August 1964 and reached number one on the Billboard Magazine Hot Country Singles chart on November 28. It remained at the number one position for eight weeks.
"Once a Day" became the first debut single by a female country artist to reach number one. For nearly 50 years the single held the record for the most weeks spent at number one on the Billboard country chart by a female artist. RCA Victor released Smith's self-titled debut album in March 1965 which also reached number one spending seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and spending 30 weeks on the chart overall. In addition, the album also peaked at No. 105 on the Billboard 200 albums chart around the same time. Dan Cooper of Allmusic called the production of the album to sound as if she was "a down-home Streisand fronting The Lennon Sisters."
During this time, Anderson wrote a series of songs that were released as follow-up singles to "Once a Day". These songs also became major hits. Her next Anderson-penned release was 1965's "Then and Only Then". The song peaked at number four on the Billboard country chart. Its B-side, "Tiny Blue Transistor Radio" (originally intended for Skeeter Davis and also penned by Anderson), peaked within the top 25 on the same singles chart. In 1965, Smith officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry radio show in Nashville, Tennessee. It had been a dream of Smith's to become a member since childhood, remembering saying at the age of five, "Someday I’m gonna sing on the Grand Ole Opry." In the mid-60s Smith was temporarily fired from the Grand Ole Opry for not being on the show for twenty six weeks out of the year, which was the required number of weeks to stay a member at the time. In the 1970s, Smith was nearly fired from the show for testifying about Jesus Christ.
Bill Anderson wrote her next single with Bette Anderson titled "I Can't Remember" (1965). The track reached number nine on the Billboard Magazine Hot Country Singles chart. In October 1965, Smith released her second studio album Cute 'n' Country. The album featured cover versions of country songs and newer songs written by Bill Anderson. Covers included songs by Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, and Ray Price. Like her first album, Cute 'n' Country reached number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and spent thirty weeks on the chart as well. Her next two singles, "If I Talk to Him" and "Nobody But a Fool (Would Love You)", both reached number four on the country singles chart and were issued on Smith's third album, Miss Smith Goes to Nashville (1966). The album peaked at number two on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
With her next few sessions, Smith's producer Bob Ferguson felt pressured from RCA headquarters in New York City to market Smith's sound toward more "middle-of-the-road" country pop material. This change of sound was evident on her next two studio albums: Born to Sing (1966) and Downtown Country (1967). Both albums featured full orchestras in the background and cover versions of singles by pop artists of the time. Spawned from Born to Sing and Downtown Country were the singles "Ain't Had No Lovin'" and "The Hurtin's All Over", which both peaked within the top 5 on the country singles chart. During this time, Smith also appeared in several country music vehicle films, where she performed many of her current hit recordings. In 1966, she appeared in the films Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar and The Las Vegas Hillbillys, the latter of which starred Jayne Mansfield. In 1967, she appeared in The Road to Nashville and Hell on Wheels.
In February 1967, Smith released an album on RCA Camden entitled Connie in the Country, which mainly featured cover versions of country hits recorded at the time. Covers included songs by Loretta Lynn and Buck Owens. In May 1967, RCA released an album of songs written entirely by Bill Anderson called Connie Smith Sings Bill Anderson. Smith later commented that, "it was an honor, not a favor" to record an album of all Anderson tunes. Included in the disc were covers of Anderson's own hits such as "City Lights" and "That's What It's Like to Be Lonesome". Also featured was Anderson's "I Love You Drops", which Smith wanted to release as a single; however Anderson wanted to release the song as his own single. Smith stated, "We begged him for that song. But I cut 33 of his songs." It would later become a top ten hit for Anderson. Between 1966 and 1968, Smith had five top ten singles in a row on the Billboard country chart: "I'll Come Running" (which Smith wrote herself), "Cincinnati, Ohio", "Burning a Hole in My Mind", "Baby's Back Again", and "Run Away Little Tears". "Cincinnati, Ohio" would later inspire the city of Cincinnati, Ohio to declare their own "Connie Smith Day" in June 1967.
1968–1972: New directions
By 1968, Smith began to feel large amounts of pressure from the music business. The stress of touring, recording, promoting, and trying to keep a personal life reportedly led Smith to contemplate suicide. Yet, Smith later stated that she never considered the prospect as an actual possibility. These pressures eventually led her to seek solace in both her family life and religion, becoming a Born Again Christian in the spring of 1968. Although she did not give up her music career completely, Smith did balance it with a lighter schedule in order to avoid stress.
In 1968–69, she recorded a cover of Marty Robbins' "Ribbon of Darkness". Smith stated that it was reflection on her personal life, after recently divorcing her first husband Jerry Smith. Despite a set of recent personal troubles, Smith continued to have the same commercial success she had before. In 1969, her next single "You and Your Sweet Love" (written by Bill Anderson) reached number six on the Billboard Magazine Hot Country Singles chart. This was followed by another top ten single in 1970 called "I Never Once Stopped Loving You", which reached the top five. Between 1969 and 1970, she released two collaborative albums with Nat Stuckey: Young Love and Sunday Morning with Nat Stuckey and Connie Smith. From 1970 to 1971, both the singles "Louisiana Man" and "Where Is My Castle" became top 20 hits on the Billboard country singles chart.
In 1971, Smith's cover of Don Gibson's "Just One Time" reached number two on the Hot Country Singles chart. An album of the same name was also released, which reached the top 20 on the Billboard country LP's survey. By the early 1970s, Smith started to incorporate more Gospel music into her regular studio albums and touring show. Smith later stated that by incorporating gospel into her secular recording career would make her leap into Christianity "count". In 1971, she released her third gospel album, Come Along and Walk with Me. According to Smith, the latter project was her favorite gospel record out of the many she had released. In 1972, all three of Smith's singles reached the top ten on the country singles chart: "Just for What I Am", "If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone)", and "Love Is the Look You're Looking for". In addition, three albums were also released to accommodate the success of the three singles, including a tribute to songwriter Dallas Frazier named If It Ain't Love and Other Great Dallas Frazier Songs. In November 1972, Smith announced she would depart from RCA the same week that country artist Eddy Arnold also announced his temporary departure. Smith later explained in an interview with Razor & Tie that she felt RCA showed a lack of respect for her and she felt she would have been happier recording elsewhere.
1973–1979: Later career
In 1973, Smith moved to Columbia Records. With a new contract, she was given permission to record one gospel album per year. Her first gospel record under the label was 1973's God Is Abundant. In addition, the label also gave her the opportunity to incorporate gospel songs into her country albums. In effect, these changes caused a slight commercial decline for Smith. Nevertheless, her singles continued to regular make major chart positions in the Billboard country top 20. She also recorded her first country LP for Columbia in 1973 titled A Lady Named Smith (produced by George Richey). Smith and Richey co-wrote the album's lead single, "You've Got Me (Right Where You Want Me)", which became a minor hit on the Billboard country chart. However Smith was dissatisfied with Richey's production strategies and replaced him with Ray Baker for her next album, That's the Way Love Goes (1974). Her next single was written by Dallas Frazier called "Ain't Love a Good Thing", which peaked at number ten on the Hot Country Singles Chart in 1974.
Music critics noticed a change in Smith's vocals following her Columbia switch. When reviewing her Columbia compilation titled Connie Smith Sings Her Hits, Thom Jurek of Allmusic commented that Smith lost much of the "grain" in her voice. Jurek went on to write, "It could be said, that regardless of the material, she never made a bad record; the tunes were carefully chosen it's true, but she never tried to hide the hardcore twang in her vocal style." In 1974, the singles "I Never Knew (What That Song Meant Before)" and "I've Got My Baby on My Mind", which both reached number 13 on the Billboard country chart. In 1975, she released her second gospel album with the label, entitled Connie Smith Sings Hank Williams Gospel. The project was a tribute to the gospel material that Hank Williams recorded. That year, she also released a cover of Williams' secular "Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)" as a single. In 1976, Smith released two cover versions of previously made pop hits by The Everly Brothers as singles: "(Till) I Kissed You" and "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)".
In 1977 Smith moved to Monument Records. With her new recording contract, she was marketed as a country pop artist and was pressured into recording softer material. While reviewing Smith's 1993 Monument compilation Greatest Hits on Monument, Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented that she not only recorded country-pop material, but also "heavily produced adult contemporary ballads and big, shiny disco-influenced pop numbers." Meanwhile, both of Smith's albums under the label stiffed upon release. Her debut 1977 Monument album, Pure Connie Smith, spawned the single "Coming Around", which peaked outside the country top 40. Only one single released on the label became a significant hit, a cover of Andy Gibb's 1977 pop hit "I Just Want to Be Your Everything". The track reached number 14 on the country singles chart in 1978. Her next five singles on the label continued to descend into progressively lower positions on the country singles chart and because of poor record sales, Smith decided to go into semi-retirement in 1979 to raise her five children.
1998–present: Return to recording and performing
Smith was encouraged to restart her mainstream career in 1985 with a new recording contract to Epic Records. The label released two singles over the course of two years. The first single, "A Far Cry from You" (1985), was written by Alternative country artist Steve Earle and reached number 71 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The second single did not chart and Epic failed to release any further singles or an album.
One day in the mid-1990s, Smith was at her home talking to one of her daughters on the phone. After telling her mother what she was going to do that night, her daughter asked Smith what her plans for that night were. Because she did not have anything fun planned, Smith lied so her daughter wouldn't have to worry about her. After the conversation ended, Smith realized that she didn't need her own children worrying about her at the start of their adult lives and decided that it was time to return to her career. With country artist Marty Stuart (whom she later married in 1997), acting as the album's main producer, Smith signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1996. Although the label preferred her to record an album of duets, Smith decided to go by her own terms and record a solo studio album. In October 1998 she released her second self-titled studio album. It consisted of ten tracks, nine of them co-written by both Smith and Stuart.
Smith's 1998 project attracted limited commercial attention, but was given critical praise for its traditional and contemporary style. Kurt Wolff of the book Country Music: The Rough Guide commented that the album sounded "far gutsier than anything in the Reba and Garth mainstream". Thom Jurek of Allmusic gave the release four out of five stars, calling it "a solid effort", also commenting, "...it stands head and shoulders over most of the stuff that's come out of Nash Vegas in over a decade. Even if it doesn't sell a copy, it's a triumphant return for Smith. She hasn't lost a whit of her gift as a singer or as a writer." Also in 1998, Smith made a second cameo appearance in a film, portraying a "Singer at the Rodeo Dance" in The Hi-Lo Country starring Woody Harrelson and Billy Crudup.
In August 2003, she released a gospel album with country artists Barbara Fairchild and Sharon White called Love Never Fails on Daywind Records. In an interview with Country Stars Central, Smith said that she was ill with the stomach flu while recording the album, but still enjoyed making the record. Produced by country and bluegrass performer Ricky Skaggs (White's husband), the album received a nomination from the Dove Awards. The website Slipcue.com reviewed the release and commented that Love Never Fails, "is probably too rowdy for most Southern Gospel fans (who really like tinkly pianos and less-twangy vocals), and while it probably won't wow many country listeners, for folks who are fans any of these three singers, this is kind of a treat.
In November 2008, Smith joined the cast of Marty Stuart's television series The Marty Stuart Show, which aired on the RFD-TV network every Saturday night. The thirty-minute program featured traditional country music performed by both Stuart and Smith, as well as radio personality Eddie Stubbs. The show stopped airing on RFD-TV in 2014. Since 2008, Smith had been writing new songs for her next album. In August Smith released her first new solo recording in thirteen years, entitled Long Line of Heartaches via Sugar Hill Records. The record was produced by Marty Stuart and included five songs written by the pair. Harlan Howard, Kostas, Johnny Russell, and Dallas Frazier also wrote tracksw that were included on the disc. The album was reviewed positively by AllMusic's Steve Leggett, who gave it four stars. "It wouldn't be quite right to call this a throwback album, but it does sound like vintage traditional country given just a bit of a polished edge," he concluded. Andrew Mueller of BBC also gave it a positive response, calling it "classic and classicist country songs".
In 2021, Smith announced the release of her first new album of songs in ten years. Titled The Cry of the Heart, the disc will be released in August on Fat Possum Records. According to a press release, Smith called her performance on the record to be "at her finest".
Smith has been married four times. In 1961, she married Jerry Smith, a ferro-analyst at the Inter-Lake Iron Corporation in Beverly, Ohio. They had one child together, born on March 9, 1963, named Darren Justin. (In the late 1970s, Darren went to Europe to become a missionary; he is currently a psychologist.) In the mid-1960s, the couple divorced and Smith married the guitarist in her touring band, Jack Watkins. They had a son, Kerry Watkins, before separating nearly a year after marrying. Shortly afterward, Smith married telephone repairman Marshall Haynes. In the early 1970s, Haynes frequently toured with Connie on her road show. The couple had three daughters: Jeanne, Julie, and Jodi Haynes.
After divorcing Haynes in the early 1990s, Smith stated that she would never marry again. However, on July 8, 1997, she did get married for the fourth time, this time to her producer, country artist Marty Stuart. Stuart began producing her after writing songs for Smith's 1998 comeback album. Stuart described encountering Smith 26 years earlier, after attending her concert: "I met Connie when I was 12 years old. She came to the Indian reservation in my hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi to work at a fair. She hasn't changed a bit. She looked great then and she looks great now." Stuart said he told his mother then that he was going to marry Connie Smith. Smith explains how they have sustained their marriage : "Make the Lord the center … and commit."
Connie Smith's sound is defined by the Nashville Sound musical style, primarily during her breakthrough years in the 1960s. While most Nashville Sound recordings of the time mainly included full orchestras, Smith's sound remained more traditional with its use of steel guitar and her twangy vocals, while still featuring some pop-influenced instrumentation to provide urban pop appeal. Critics have largely praised Smith's use of the steel guitar, which have often been described as "sharp" and "prominent". Her steel guitar player Weldon Myrick is often credited with creating what Smith has called "The Connie Smith Sound". In an interview with Colin Escott in his book Born to Sing, Myrick recalls how Smith's producer (Bob Ferguson) wanted the guitar to sound, "He came out and said he wanted a bright sound, and he adjusted my controls. I thought it was an awfully thin sound, but it wound up being very popular."
Smith's vocal delivery has also been considered to be part of her musical style. Writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted in 2012 that Smith sings with a "cool, authoritative ease, a skill that brought her to the attention of some of Nashville's finest songwriters." Mary A. Bufwack and Robert K. Oermann called her singing "a pillar-of-fire delivery sobbed with desolation." Thom Jurek of AllMusic stated that Smith's vocals offer "sophisticated emotional delivery" and that "her control and phrasing remain a high-water mark today."
Smith is considered by many critics and historians to be one of country music's most celebrated and respected artists. In his review of Smith's 1996 compilation The Essential Connie Smith, Jurek explained why Smith's vocals are usually compared to Cline's, "Connie Smith is perhaps the only female singer in the history of country music who can truly claim to be the heiress to Patsy Cline's throne. It's not that there aren't many amazing vocalists in the field, and plenty of legends among them. But in terms of the pure gift of interpretation of taking virtually any song and making it a country song of class and distinction, Smith is it."
Writers and journalists have also cited Smith as an integral piece of country music history. Mary A. Bufwack and Robert K. Oermann categorized her as one of country's "heroines of heartbreak", due to her emotional vocal delivery. Bufwack and Oermann further stated that along with Tammy Wynette, Smith was among the genre's "most towering country voices of the 1960s and 1970s" who "sang from the depths of despair" and "spoke for conservative Middle America in both music and life."
Many artists in the country music industry have cited Smith as a significant musical influence or one of their favorite musical artists. George Jones cited Smith as his favorite female singer in his 1995 autobiography. Elvis Presley had many of Smith's albums in his record collection at his Graceland home and intended on recording Smith's version of "The Wonders You Perform", but never got around to doing so. In a discussion with country songwriter Fred Foster, Dolly Parton famously said, "You know, there's really only three female singers in the world: Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Connie Smith. The rest of us are only pretending."
Smith has also been given honors and achievements as part of her legacy. In 2002, she was ranked in the top ten of CMTs televised special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. In 2011, she was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Alongside Garth Brooks, Smith was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012. "Just to be in the company of the great Kitty Wells is enough," she commented after hearing the news. In 2015, she celebrated 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast. Her celebration was honored in a performance joined by Alison Krauss and Mel Tillis, among others. In 2017, she was ranked on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Country Artists of All-Time".
In March 2021, Smith's legacy was further cemented by the Library of Congress, which added "Once a Day" to the National Recording Registry. In April 2021, Smith's husband, Marty Stuart, announced a documentary to be released about her life and career titled Connie: The Cry of the Heart. "Studying the depth of what Marty and Connie have achieved in the industry and then discovering their ability to predict the business trends around their legacy makes me very excited to be part of what they are doing," said Nick Kontonicolas, who will help broadcast the documentary on his network.
- Connie Smith (1965)
- Cute 'n' Country (1965)
- Miss Smith Goes to Nashville (1966)
- Connie Smith Sings Great Sacred Songs (1966)
- Born to Sing (1966)
- Downtown Country (1967)
- Connie Smith Sings Bill Anderson (1967)
- Soul of Country Music (1967)
- I Love Charley Brown (1968)
- Sunshine and Rain (1968)
- Connie's Country (1969)
- Young Love (1969)
- Back in Baby's Arms (1969)
- Sunday Morning with Nat Stuckey and Connie Smith (1970)
- I Never Once Stopped Loving You (1970)
- Where Is My Castle (1971)
- Just One Time (1971)
- Come Along and Walk with Me (1971)
- Ain't We Havin' Us a Good Time (1972)
- If It Ain't Love and Other Great Dallas Frazier Songs (1972)
- A Lady Named Smith (1973)
- God Is Abundant (1973)
- That's the Way Love Goes (1974)
- I Never Knew (What That Song Meant Before) (1974)
- I Got a Lot of Hurtin' Done Today/I've Got My Baby On My Mind (1975)
- Connie Smith Sings Hank Williams Gospel (1975)
- Joy to the World (1975)
- The Song We Fell in Love To (1976)
- I Don't Wanna Talk It Over Anymore (1976)
- Pure Connie Smith (1977)
- New Horizons (1978)
- Connie Smith (1998)
- Love Never Fails (2003)
- Long Line of Heartaches (2011)
- The Cry of the Heart (2021)
|1966||The Las Vegas Hillbillys||Herself||Cameo appearance|||
|Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar||Herself||Cameo appearance|||
|1967||The Road to Nashville||Herself||Cameo appearance|||
|Hell on Wheels||Herself||Cameo appearance|||
|1998||The Hi-Lo Country||Singer at rodeo dance|||
|2008–2014||The Marty Stuart Show||Herself||153 episodes|||
Awards, nominations and honors
Smith has won two awards from both Billboard Magazine and Cash Box. Besides her nominations from music magazines, she has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, one award from the Academy of Country Music, and three awards from the Country Music Association, as well as several nominations from the fan-voted Music City News Awards including one win.
|1964||Billboard Magazine||Most Promising Female Country Artist||Won|||
|1965||Grammy Awards||Best Country and Western Single – "Once a Day"||Nominated|||
|Best New Country and Western Artist||Nominated|||
|Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Female – "Once a Day"||Nominated|||
|Billboard Magazine||Most Promising Female Country Artist||Won|||
|Billboard Magazine||Favorite Female Country Performer||Nominated|||
|Favorite Album (1964–1965) – Connie Smith||Nominated|||
|Cash Box||Most Promising Female Country Vocalist||Won|||
|Country Music Review||Most Promising Female Singer||Won|||
|1966||Grammy Awards||Best Sacred Recording – Connie Smith Sings Great Sacred Songs||Nominated|||
|Best Country and Western Vocal Performance, Female – "Ain't Had No Lovin'"||Nominated|||
|Billboard Magazine||Favorite Female Country Performer||Nominated|||
|Favorite Country Album – Cute 'n' Country||Nominated|||
|Cash Box||Most Programmed Female Artist||Won|||
|Country Music Life Award||Favorite Female Artist||Won|||
|Record World||Top Female Vocalist||Won|||
|Most Outstanding Female Country and Western Vocalist||Won|||
|1967||Billboard Magazine||Top Country Artist, Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|Cash Box||Most Programmed Female Artist||Nominated|||
|Record World||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|Country Music Association Awards||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|||
|1968||Grammy Awards||Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Female – "Cincinnati, Ohio"||Nominated|||
|1969||Academy of Country Music||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|Grammy Awards||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female – "Ribbon of Darkness"||Nominated|||
|1970||Country Music Association||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|||
|1971||Grammy Awards||Best Sacred Performance – "Whispering Hope" (with Nat Stuckey)||Nominated|||
|1972||Music City News Awards||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|Country Music Association||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|||
|1974||Grammy Awards||Best Inspirational Performance – "All the Praises"||Nominated|||
|Music City News Awards||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|1975||Music City News Awards||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|||
|1976||Grammy Awards||Best Gospel Performance – Connie Smith Sings Hank Williams Gospel||Nominated|||
|1979||Music City News Awards||Gospel Group/Act of the Year||Won|||
|2002||Country Music Television||40 Greatest Women of Country Music – Rank (#9)||Won|||
|2007||Country Universe||100 Greatest Women – Rank (#24)||Won|||
|2010||Grammy Awards||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals – "Run to You" (with Marty Stuart)||Nominated|||
|2012||Country Music Association||Country Music Hall of Fame induction||Won|||
|2017||Rolling Stone||100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time – Rank (#69)||Won|||
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