Singer and songwriter K.T. Oslin died on Monday, Dec. 21 at age 78, her friend and journalist Robert K. Oermann to Rolling Stone. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and had been battling Parkinson's disease for several years, moving into an assisted living facility in 2016. It is currently unknown whether COVID-19 contributed to her death.
Born in Crossett, Arkansas in 1942, Oslin appeared in several theater productions on and off Broadway in New York City before moving to Nashville, where she began releasing music. At age 45, she released her 1987 album 80's Ladies, the title track of which won Oslin the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The song also won the CMA Award for Song of the Year in 1988, making Oslin, who penned "80's Ladies" solo, the first woman to win the award. She also won the Female Vocalist of the Year Award at the same ceremony.
Her No. 1 single "Hold Me," from her album This Woman, gave Oslin two more Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Song of the Year, and her final No. 1, "Come Next Monday," topped the charts in 1990. She also wrote several songs that were written by other artists, including cuts by The Judds, Sissy Spacek and Dottie West.
"I just wrote songs that I liked, that I thought said something that I meant, and that I would enjoy singing a hundred thousand times," she told the Nashville Scene in 2013. "We should have music for all of us. Music isn’t just for a 20-year-old. It’s for all of us."
Oslin stopped touring in the early '90s and focused on her acting career, appearing in television series and made-for-television movies. She eventually returned to music, releasing a greatest hits album, Songs From an Aging Sex Bomb, in 1993. In 1996, she released an Americana album, My Roots Are Showing, and her last album, Simply, arrived in 2015.. Oslin was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014 and was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.
"You have to understand that not everybody is going to like what you do. You can’t please everybody. And you’re crazy if you try," Oslin told CMT.com in 2011. She added, "I’d like to be remembered as someone who stuck to their guns and did it the way they thought. I tried to do my very best every time out of the chute."