Virginia Patterson Hensley (September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963), known professionally as Patsy Cline, 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 at age 30 in a 1963 plane crash at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful, revered, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th 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 and praised as an inspiration by many vocalists of various music genres. The story of her life and career has been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.
Posthumously, millions of her albums have been sold over the past 45 years and she has been given numerous awards, which has given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Only ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, she was voted by artists and members of the Country Music industry as number one on CMT's television special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, and in 1999 she was voted number 11 on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll by members and artists of the rock industry. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity." Among those hits are "Walkin' After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You", "Crazy", and "Sweet Dreams".