Country Music Hall of Famer Jean Shepard Dead at 82
It continues to be a sad year for music as we've lost another good one as Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry star Jean Shepard has died. She was 82.
Known as "the grand lady of the Grand Ole Opry", Shepard had entered hospice care last week and died in Nashville.
Jean Shepard had a long recording career as an influential female in country music. She joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry on her birthday in 1955 and helped set the standard for women in country music.
She presented a strong female point of view in songs like "Twice the Lovin' in Half the Time" and "The Root of All Evil (Is a Man)".
Shepard was also credited with releasing country music's first concept album back in 1956 with "Songs From a Love Affair".
She teamed up with fellow Hall of Famer Ferlin Husky in 1953 on "A Dear John Letter", her first number one country hit.
In 1963, her husband at the time, country singer Hawkshaw Hawkins, was killed in a plane crash along with the legendary Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.
Shepard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011 and continued to perform regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.
She is survived by her husband, Benny Birchfield, and sons Don Robin Hawkins, Harold Franklin Hawkins II and Corey Birchfield.