Singer-Songwriter Jamie O’Hara Dead at 70
Nashville singer-songwriter Jamie O'Hara, who wrote hit for the Judds and many more, has died. According to his wife, Lola White, O'Hara died on Thursday (Jan. 7) after a battle with a very aggressive cancer. He was 70 years old.
"It is with a broken heart that I must tell you that my husband, friend and love of my life took his last breath this morning at 11:11 at Alive Hospice," White writes on Facebook, "as my son Brian sang him a plethora of Jesse Winchester songs ... and Jamie's own songs ... and those of other friends.
"Jamie suffered tremendously in recent months. He's no longer suffering, and for that we can all be grateful," she adds. "He will live in our hearts and in his songs."
Born in Toledo, Ohio, in August of 1950, O'Hara moved to Nashville in the mid-1970s, where he began work as a songwriter. Between 1986 and 1990, he and Kieran Kane, who was signed to the same publishing company, worked together in the O'Kanes. The duo released three albums via Columbia Records and charted a handful of Top 10 hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including "Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You," which became the duo's first and only No. 1 hit in 1987.
The O'Kanes also scored a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals for "Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You."
O'Hara's best-known song was "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)," which became a massive hit for the Judds. The song reached No. 1 hit on country radio, and it also won O'Hara a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1986.
According to O'Hara's website, he also wrote songs for artists including Tim McGraw, George Jones, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood and many more. Following the O'Kanes' breakup in 1990, he went on to release multiple solo albums and continued his career as a songwriter.
O'Hara's wife revealed his cancer diagnosis in an online posting that Nashville-based independent music company Moraine Music Group re-posted on Sunday (Jan. 3).
"It is with deep sorrow, dear friends, that I must tell you that my husband Jamie, the love of my life, has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that has us measuring his life in weeks," White wrote. "Something about making an announcement in this format seems very wrong, but there are so many people who should know, and so little time to contact everyone individually. I apologize for that, but I did want you to know.
"My heart is shattered, and I'm spending every moment I can with him."
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