Country singer-songwriter Jean Shepard dies at 82

Jean Shepard (Credit: AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Country singer-songwriter Jean Shepard passed away Sunday at the age of 82.

The Country Music Hall of Fame confirmed Shepard’s passing Sunday morning.

Shepard’s son Hawkshaw Hawkins spoke about his mother’s passing with a statement on his Facebook page. 

Thank everyone for the overwhelming response about mom’s passing. Mama would say tell everyone that she loves them. She is with the Lord now. Move over Hank here comes mama…God bless you all.”

Born Ollie Imogene Shepard in Oklahoma, she later settled in Lebanon.

Her first hit, “A Dear John Letter,” a 1953 duet she recorded with Ferlin Husky, was the first post-World War II record by a woman country artist to sell more than a million copies.

Shepard was considered a pioneer for women in country music, paving the way for artists such as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.

She released a total of 73 singles to the Hot Country Songs chart.

Shepard has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1955 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately released.
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