Jody Miller, Country Music Legend, Dead at 80

Jody Miller
David Redfern/Redferns

The famed singer died on Thursday at her home in Blanchard, Oklahoma.

GRAMMY-winning country singer Jody Miller has died. She was 80. The celebrated songstress died at her house in Blanchard, Oklahoma, due to complications from Parkinson's disease.

Miller's first big hit came in 1964 with her song, "He Walks Like a Man," followed by her smash-hit single, "Queen of the House," which earned Miller a GRAMMY Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1966.

Miller is celebrated as a pioneer for crossover female vocalists, moving from the pop/folk genre into the country music sphere, which paved the way for many artists who came after, including Linda Ronstadt, Anne Murray and many others.

"Jody Miller’s talent cannot be overstated. She had this innate, God-given ability to interpret and communicate with the most beautiful tones and inflection," Miller's longtime rep, Jennifer McMullen, shared in a statement issued on Thursday. "She made it look and sound so easy that it sometimes takes a moment to realize the greatness of what you are hearing. But she was just as authentic and exceptional in her own life as she was on stage and on record.”

Additional hits recorded by Miller include "Baby I’m Yours," "There’s a Party Goin’ On," "Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home," "Home of the Brave," and "He's So Fine." 

Miller retired from touring in the 1980s, and went to live with her husband, Monty Brooks, on a horse ranch in Blanchard. After becoming a born-again Christian, she started a new chapter in her life as a gospel singer. She continued to perform until late in life.

Miller is survived by her daughter, Robin Brooks Sullivan, and several grandchildren.