Jody Miller, Country Music Legend, Dead at 80

Jody Miller, the Grammy Award-winning country artist known for her hits in the 1960s and '70s that began with the crossover single "Queen of the House," has died. Miller passed away in her hometown of Blanchard, Oklahoma on Thursday, Oct. 6 due to complications from Parkinson's disease. She was 80.

Miller's daughter, singer-songwriter Robin Brooks, confirmed her mother's passing in a statement shared to the Facebook page of Brook's band, writing, "Middle Sister is sorry to announce the passing of Jody Miller this morning, music icon and mother of Robin Brooks. Please remember the family as they deal with this great loss." Miller's longtime representative, Jennifer McMullen, also confirmed the singer's death, sharing that "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. 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."

Born Myrna Joy Miller, Miller was born into a musical family, according to The Oklahoman. Her father, a mechanic, made and played fiddles, while her mother sang. Miller's musical talents showed early, and as a child, she would harmonize along with her four older sisters, and from the age of 10, she knew she wanted to be a singer. After signing to Capitol Records as a folk act in 1962, Miller's first big hit came in 1964 with her song, "He Walks Like a Man." Just a year later, she cemented her place in the music industry with her 1965 Grammy-winning hit "Queen of the House." Not only did the song reach the Top 5 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart and hit No. 12 on the Hot 100, but it also made Miller one of the first Oklahomans to win a Grammy when she scored a victory in the Best Country & Western Vocal Performance – Female category.


After remaining with Capitol through the '60s – a period that saw hits like "Home of the Brave" and "Long Black Limousine" – Miller moved to Epic Records in 1970 and began working with "countrypolitan" producer Billy Sherrill. Under the new label, she released singles such as "Baby I'm Yours," There's a Party Goin' On," "Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home," and "He's So Fine." Miller retired in 1980 before emerging as a Christian music artist. Along with being inducted into the International Country Music Hall of Fame, she was also inducted into the Country Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1999. Miller is survived by her daughter and grandchildren Montana and Layla Sullivan. Memorial arrangements are pending.