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'80's Ladies' Singer K.T. Oslin Dead at 78 — inside Her Life and Career

Olowokandi Fiyin
Dec 22, 2020
05:40 A.M.
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Iconic country singer K.T Oslin has passed away at 78. The legendary "80's Ladies" crooner had been battling Parkinson's Disease in recent years and was COVID-19 positive before her demise.


The country music world has lost a veteran and talented singer in the person of K.T Oslin. The phenomenal singer tragically passed away on Monday, December 21, at 78 years old.

According to reports, Oslin, who dominated the country music scene in the late '80s, had health issues in her later years. She had reportedly been battling Parkinson's Disease and began living in an assisted facility in 2016.

K.T. Oslin at the 2005 Nashville Chapter Recording Academy Honors November 7, 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Photo: Getty Images

K.T. Oslin at the 2005 Nashville Chapter Recording Academy Honors November 7, 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Photo: Getty Images


The week before her demise, she tested positive for COVID-19. However, it is not sure if she died from complications due to the virus. The Country Music Association also confirmed Oslin's death in a heartwarming statement by CEO Sarah Trahern.

The country singer revealed that she wrote the lyrics little by little and always imagined it would be performed on stage.


Trahern described the late singer as a strong influence in country music and recalled how wonderful it was to work with her on some television shows. She honored Oslin's legacy, writing:

"She truly had one of the best voices in the history of our format. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones at this difficult time."


The deceased broke records as the first middle-aged woman to rise to stardom in Nashville with her impressive vocal talents. Her hit song, "80's Ladies," put her on the map and made her the first woman ever to win the Song of the Year at the CMA.

She also earned the award for Female Vocalist of the year in 1988 and bagged a Grammy Award for the tune. Born in Crossett, Arkansas, on May 15, 1942, Oslin's career began as a young adult when she joined a trio group and sang folk music.


She transitioned into stage acting, and Broadway plays, starring in productions like "Hello Dolly!" "Promises, Promises," and "Darling of the Day." Amid acting, Oslin began writing songs and got the attention of SESAC executive C. Dianne Petty.

In 1981, she was signed to Elektra Records and released singles "Clean Your Own Tables" and "Younger Men." However, neither tracks were successful.


It wasn't until 1897 that Oslin's talent became undeniable when she signed to RCA Records and released her single, "Walls of Tears." She followed it up with the iconic "80's Ladies," and there was no stopping her from then on.

Speaking about the hit song in an interview, the country singer revealed that she wrote the lyrics little by little and always imagined it would be performed on stage. She never thought it would thrive as a single.

Oslin retired in the early 2000s but made a few appearances from time to time. In one of her final interviews, the singer noted she wanted to be remembered for sticking to her guns. Indeed, the late Oslin did all that and left behind a worthy legacy.

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