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 Trisha Yearwood. The song became Smith's biggest hit. Smith's success continued through 1960s and mid 1970s with 19 more top-10 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 returned 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 became romantic, leading to their marriage in 1997. The pairing led to Connie Smith, Smith's first studio album in 20 years. Critically acclaimed, Smith began performing again and has 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 one Academy of Country Music award and three Country Music Association awards. Rolling Stone included her on its list of the 100 greatest country music artists and CMT ranked her among the top 10 in its 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.