Country music fans have suffered through many heartbreaking losses this year. Here are some of the more high-profile figures who have passed on in 2018.
Loretta Lynn tops this list as an influential female vocalist of the 1950s who made waves with songs like “Queen of the House,” a tongue-in-cheek takeoff on Roger Miller’s hit “King of the Road”.
Loretta Lynn, known for her long and successful career in Nashville country music scene, passed away peacefully at 90 on October 4, at her Hurricane Mills ranch home in Tennessee, according to a family statement released later.
Loretta Lynn rose to become one of country music’s biggest stars after marrying at 15. With hits like “Don’t Come Home a Drinker,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter” under her belt, she created her own genre while breaking barriers for female singers to follow.
She was honored with induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, working alongside such artists as Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, among many others. She produced Grammy-winning albums before receiving recognition at a Kennedy Center Honors concert despite losing her husband to cancer in 1996.
After her husband passed, she scaled back on work but never lost sight of her goal: creating and recording new music. Van Lear Rose produced by Jack White earned her a Grammy and introduced her to new generations of fans.
In 2018, she released Wouldn’t It Be Great, an album that detailed her experiences with loss and grief. It proved an emotionally moving record for both fans and family alike.
Loretta Lynn was a country music legend renowned for her lengthy and distinguished 60 year career spanning more than six decades, boasting many hit songs that sold 45 million records worldwide and being honored as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as receiving Entertainer of the Year at CMA Awards in 1972.
Loretta Lynn became a household name in country music when she made her debut in 1960. Since then, she had over fifty top ten hits and received eight GRAMMY nominations; four were won. Additionally, she became a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame and earned numerous other accolades such as receiving the National Medal Of Arts.
Country music fans and friends of Naomi Judd are mourning her recent passing at age 76, announced by Wynonna and Ashley as part of The Judds duo. Both daughters took to social media on Saturday to pay their respects and pay homage.
The Judds were one of the most beloved country duos of all time, winning eight Country Music Association (CMA) awards and five GRAMMYs between 1983 and 1991. Their music captured both idealized small-town sentiments as well as raw emotions experienced by single women struggling to manage their lives.
Their songs such as “Give a Little Love,” “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and “Mama, He’s Crazy” resonated deeply with American audiences, cementing their place among country music history as one of its most successful duos.
As soon as the Judds started touring, they drew an enormous audience and their live performances were frequently broadcast. Over 20 million records were sold, garnering numerous awards – including seven consecutive Academy of Country Music top vocal duo awards from this distinguished country music academy.
Naomi Judd was an advocate for mental health throughout her 30-plus-year career, writing an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week which was shared with PEOPLE magazine.
She has become a much sought-after partner for mental health campaigns and associations, writing several self-help books and hosting a popular talk show program while serving as a judge on reality competitions.
Although Ashley had reported on Instagram that their mother died by suicide, an autopsy report from Williamson County medical examiner in Tennessee indicates she died due to gunshot wound to the head. Furthermore, this report also revealed she suffered from anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder in her lifetime.
According to the report, she had prescription medications in her system which may have hindered her ability to cope with mental health issues. Furthermore, the medical examiner discovered a note near the scene of her death which stated she had suicidal tendencies.
The Country Music Hall of Fame announced on Sunday that they would still go ahead with an induction ceremony despite hearing of her death. The ceremony is set to take place in Nashville and features tearful speeches by Ashley and Wynonna as part of its festivities. The Country Music Hall of Fame stated on its official Twitter account they were “heartbroken” over her passing and will miss her greatly; yet, she will always remain in our hearts.
Jake Flint was an up-and-coming Oklahoma country singer who died peacefully in his sleep just hours after getting married on Saturday, November 26. His publicist confirmed this news with Entertainment Weekly but has yet to ascertain a cause.
Jake was born and raised in Mounds, Oklahoma and developed an early passion for music due to the influence of his wildcat oilman father who introduced him to rock and country icons like John Denver, Dire Straits, and Townes Van Zandt.
He was exposed to grunge rock greats such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana by his older sister; these influences, coupled with a lifelong affinity for country music, greatly shaped his musical career.
Jake began playing guitar as a teenager, attending regional bluegrass festivals to meet other musicians and gain experience that would later enable him to write his own songs.
He later signed to a record label and began to release his debut album I’m Not OK in 2016, followed by self-titled second release two years later. He quickly gained popularity within the Red Dirt subgenre of country music.
His debut album featured passionate guitar riffs and infectious energy with a country flair, making it immensely popular with his listeners. One of his songs “What’s Your Name?” has since been covered by multiple artists – becoming one of Oklahoma Red Dirt history’s most-covered tracks.
Self-taught petroleum engineer Jake owns and manages an independent oil and gas production company that emphasizes environmentally responsible production methods while providing maximum benefits to mineral owners and surface land owners alike. He also manages an energy land management firm which advises and represents these interests.
On November 26th he married Brenda, sharing an adorable video of them dancing together just one day before his death. Both he and Brenda enjoyed an enduring, loving, playful partnership.
Country music recently lost one of its beloved journalists and musicians in Peter Cooper. Following his tragic head injury earlier this month, many members of the music community expressed their sorrow over his passing.
Peter Cooper wrote extensively about music during his career. His writing appeared in publications across the United States as well as liner notes of albums; his humorous, heartfelt style often garnering laughs or raised chuckles; some of his best-known works being his obituaries and profiles of country music legends.
Cooper joined The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville in 2000 and quickly established himself as an influential country music critic. His writing quickly earned him a place among America’s premier music journalists; covering everything from George Jones’s death to Taylor Swift’s ascent of fame.
As a journalist for 15 years at Tennessee newspaper, he eventually transitioned into Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where he served as senior director, producer and writer up until his passing in 2017. At Nashville CMHOF&M he hosted their flagship podcast Voices in the Hall.
Her passion was music and she delighted in sharing it with others. He helped coordinate a series of songwriters nights in Spartanburg for undiscovered talent to get more exposure and gain their place on the scene.
Many credit him with helping Spartanburg become known for its music history. According to Baker Maultsby, one of his former colleagues and friends. he was an enthusiastic supporter of music communities.
He was both philanthropic and religious. A Unitarian who founded Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. A real “rags to riches” hero with a desire to help others develop their talents while contributing to society as a whole.
Peter Cooper of Peekskill, New York developed an instinct for devising plans and making money through his mechanical aptitude and entrepreneurial drive. Starting his first business – a cloth shearing factory – in 1812, and later purchasing one making glue in 1827 was key to his industrial success as an inventor, philanthropist, politician, designer of America’s first steam locomotive “Tom Thumb”, as well as founding the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences.