Trisha Yearwood has never shied away from an opportunity to brag about the strong relationship she has with her mother, Gwen Yearwood. She was the inspiration behind the singer's two best-selling cookbooks, but also an example of how to be an independent woman and a loving, caring wife. Gwen Yearwood died early Saturday morning after a long battle with cancer.

"Mrs. Gwen Yearwood ended her long battle with cancer early Saturday morning with her two daughters at her side," a statement at Yearwood's official website reads. "The family is deeply appreciative of the care and concern they’ve received throughout this journey. As a long-time supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Trisha asks that expressions of sympathy be directed to Komen’s research, in her mother’s name."

Just recently, Yearwood told GAC how influential her parents -- including the late Jack Yearwood -- were in her life. "I'm very lucky. I'm one of those kids who has a mom who everybody loves. So when my mom comes to Oklahoma and visits and she's gone, everybody's like, 'When's your mom coming back?'" she said.

Gwen Yearwood was the cook in the family, and played a large roll in grooming her daughter to be a recognized kitchen expert. Along with Yearwood's sister, the two co-authored two cookbooks, 'Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen' and 'Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.'

Gwen Yearwood was a retired school teacher, and she encouraged her daughter to pursue education before chasing her dream in Nashville. The singer credits her degree from Belmont University for helping her maintain a long career in Nashville.