Ellen Muriel Deason (born August 30, 1919), known professionally as Kitty Wells, is an American country music singer. Her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.
Wells's success in the 1950s and 1960s was so enormous that she still ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of the Billboard country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. Wells was the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, as well as being the eighth woman and first Caucasian woman to receive the honor. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame; and as of 2011 - at the age of 92 - is its oldest living member. Wells' accomplishments earned her the moniker, The Queen of Country Music.
Wells was born Ellen Muriel Deason in 1919 in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the few country singers born in Nashville. She began singing as a child, learning guitar from her father. As a teenager, she sang with her sisters, who performed under the name the Deason Sisters on a local radio station beginning in 1936.