Lynn Rene Anderson (September 26, 1947 – July 30, 2015) was an American country music singer known for a string of hits from the late 1960s to the 1980s, most notably her worldwide crossover hit Rose Garden (1970). Andersons crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television helped her become one of country musics first female superstars in the early 1970s; taking the genre to venues around the world that, previously, had not been receptive. In 1970, she became the first country star to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Anderson charted 12 No. 1, 18 Top 10, and more than 50 Top 40 hit singles. In addition to being named Top Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) twice and Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA), she also won a Grammy Award (earning seven nominations), Peoples Choice Award and an American Music Award (AMA). Record World, one of three major industry trade magazines at the time (Billboard and Cashbox the other two), named Lynn Anderson Artist of the Decade for 1970-80. She was among the most highly awarded female country artists of her era. Additionally, Anderson was the first female country artist to win the American Music Award (1974), as well as the first to headline and sellout Madison Square Garden that same year. All genres combined, she was the #13 music artist of the 1970s according to Joel Whitburn and the highest ranking country artist not yet in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
According to Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Andersons television background and her ability to bring show-business dynamism to recordings and concert performances helped her achieve crossover success. With talent and tenacity, the country music star brought increased visibility to the genre.
Anderson debuted in 1966, at the age of 19, and had her first hit with Ride, Ride, Ride. After a series of Top 10 hit singles on the country charts during the late 1960s, Anderson signed with Columbia Records in 1970. Under Columbia, she had her most successful string of hits. Her signature song, (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, remains one of the biggest selling country crossover hits of all time. In addition to topping the U.S. country charts for five weeks, the song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Pop Chart. It also topped the charts in several countries around the globe, an unprecedented achievement at the time. CMT ranks Rose Garden at No. 83 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music History. Anderson continued to record and remained a popular concert draw until her death, regularly headlining major casino showrooms, performing arts centers, and theaters.