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Bonnie Brown Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Bonnie Brown, a member of the sibling trio the Browns, who will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame next month, disclosed on Monday afternoon (Sept. 28) at a luncheon at the Hall of Fame that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

This diagnosis comes just three short months after another member of the group — her older brother, Jim Ed Brown — passed away from a different form of lung cancer.

“Two (diagnoses of lung cancer) in one family in one year is hard to take. … It’s really such a shock to me,” Brown said at the luncheon (quote via the Tennessean).

Originally Brown thought that her heart was the source of her health concerns, but on Sept. 2 the 78-year-old was diagnosed with Stage 4 adenocarcinoma in her lung. Brown will fight the illness, and was scheduled to begin chemotherapy on Tuesday (Sept. 29) in Little Rock, Ark.

Brown will be in the middle of her treatment during the induction ceremony, but that won’t stop her from making it back to Music City to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Oct. 25 alongside her sister, Maxine Brown. Jim Ed Brown received his medallion in the hospital shortly before he died.

“I’m going to make it … just pray for me,” Brown said.

The trio started paving their path to the Country Music Hall of Fame in the mid-to-late 1950s, when the siblings released a string of hit singles as the Browns that included “Here Today and Gone Tomorrow,” “I Take the Chance,” “Just as Long as You Love Me,” “Money,” “I Heard the Bluebirds Sing,” “Would You Care” and “Beyond the Shadow,” as well as their biggest hit, 1959′s “The Three Bells,” which reached No. 1 in both country and pop. The Browns joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1963, but by 1967 Bonnie and Maxine had decided to retire, and Jim Ed Brown became a solo act.

Fans who want to wish Bonnie Brown well can send her letters to P.O. Box 233, Dardanelle, Ark., 72834-0233.

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