Country music singer and songwriter. Born Muriel Deason, on August 30, 1919, in Nashville, Tennessee. In the 1930s and 1940s she sang on several radio programs, beginning with Nashville's WSIX, where she met her future husband, musician Johnny Wright.
In 1952 she joined the "Grand Ole Opry" and recorded her first hit songs for Decca, (later MCA), including 1952's "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." By 1963 she had released 461 singles and 43 albums and was belovedly known as the "Queen of Country Music." In 1976, Wells was inducted into the County Music Association Hall of Fame.
Her songs address such social problems as drinking and divorce and her career paved the way for subsequent generations of female country music singers, including Loretta Lynn, Melba Montgomery, Patsy Cline, and Dolly Parton.