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14 August 2021

Nanci Griffith, Grammy-Winning Texan Singer-Songwriter, Dies At 68

Nanci Griffith Grammy Winning Singer Songwriter Dies 68
Photo: Martyn Vickery/Alamy Stock Photo
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Nanci Griffith, the Texan-born Grammy-winning folk and country music singer-songwriter, has died aged 68.

Her death was confirmed by management and her record label, Rounder, on Friday, 13 August. No cause of death has been revealed at the time of writing.

The genre-straddling artist’s best known songs include Love At The Five And Dime and the Outbound Plane, which others saw mainstream success with.

She is widely considered influential and recorded duets with artists like Willie Nelson during her long career.

Born in Seguin, Texas in 1953, Nanci Griffith began performing and releasing folk music while working as a nursery teacher in Austin in the 1970s. She moved to Nashville in 1985, where she landed her first major record deal.

Griffith found country success with her recording of Nancy Gold’s From A Distance, some years before Bette Midler’s version became a major hit.

Her style of music, which Griffith herself described as “folkabilly”, was considered unique and blended musical genres. She released numerous critically-acclaimed albums such as Storms (1989) and Blue Roses From The Moons (1997) a Grammy award in 1994 for her album Other Voices, Other Rooms which was made up of cover songs and musical collaborations.

Griffiths previously survived two bouts of cancer in the 1990s and continued to tour and produce music – with her final album released in 2012.

“It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing,” Gold Mountain Entertainment said in a statement.

Artists from the music world have paid tribute after news of Griffith’s death broke on Friday.

Country artist Suzy Bogguss shared a photograph of Griffith on Instagram and said her “heart was aching” with the loss.

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, described Griffith as “a master songwriter who took every opportunity to champion kindred spirits”.

Irish singer Eleanor McEvoy said Griffith was “an extraordinary singer, writer and player.”

“She was very good to me when I was starting out, brought me on the road with her and brought people to my gigs,” McEvoy said on Twitter.

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