Wilma Lee Cooper, Longtime Grand Ole Opry Star, Dies at 90
Longtime Grand Ole Opry star Wilma Lee Cooper has died. Cooper, known as 'The First Lady of Bluegrass,' was 90-years-old. She died at her Sweetwater, Tenn. home on Tuesday. She passed away from natural causes, according to The Associated Press.
Cooper built her reputation in the country music world when she partnered with her husband, Stoney Cooper. They were a highly regarded country twosome for over 30 years, with a resume of hits that includes 'Cheated Too,' 'There's a Big Wheel,' 'This Old House' and 'Come Walk With Me.' They began recording together in the late 1940s and performed regularly at the Opry from 1957 through Stoney Cooper's death in 1977. Wilma Lee Cooper remained active with the Opry as a solo singer until 2001.
According to GAC, Cooper's final performance with the Opry was on Feb. 24, 2001 at the Ryman. She had actually suffered a stroke onstage in 2001, which forced her to retire from performing. She was, however, part of a 2010 group singalong at the grand reopening last September.
Cooper is survived by a daughter, Carol Lee Cooper, and two granddaughters. The singer requested that there be no memorial service, according to the Opry.