Photo credit: Glenda S. Paradee
The country music singer-songwriter K.T. Oslin died December 21, 2020 at the age of 78. Oslin famously rocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in the ’80s and ’90s with favorites like “80’s Ladies,” “Do Ya’” and “Hold Me.”
The news broke out a week after Oslin was diagnosed with COVID-19 and five years after Oslin began her fight with Parkinson’s disease. Her friend and journalist Robert K. Oermann confirmed her passing.
Over the course of her accomplished career, Oslin won three Grammys for her work including two for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (“80’s Ladies” and “Hold Me”) and Best Country Song (“Hold Me”). Her first two albums went Platinum (80’s Ladies and This Woman), and Love In a Small Town was certified as Gold in 1991 a year after its initial release.
K.T. Oslin also broke through barriers when she became the first female songwriter to win the CMA Award for Song of the Year for her signature song, “80’s Ladies.”
The iconic artist later took a short break to pursue acting and appeared in the 1993 movie Murder So Sweet as well as the film The Thing Called Love. Oslin then returned to music in 2015 and released her last album entitled Simply.
At the end of her career, Oslin was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 (after being inducted to the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014). Today, we remember and honor the lasting impact she had on the music industry in addition to the countless lives she touched.
In 2011, K.T. Oslin told CMT.com, “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.”
Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by K.T. Oslin.
“The Oak Ridge Boys are saddened by the loss of the Eighties Lady, K.T. Oslin. We didn’t know her very well, but anytime we met, she was always gracious and first-class all the way. REST EASY K.T.” - Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys
“I am very sorry to hear that K.T. Oslin passed away. My prayers are with her and her family during this time.” - Lee Greenwood
“K.T. was a great artist, with an instantly identifiable voice and a Hall of Fame songwriter, who was a joy to hang out with. She had a big smile, a big heart, and a big laugh! She was a sweet soul and we are all going to miss her. Condolences to her friends and family. Rest easy, sister.” - T. Graham Brown
"We've lost another great one! K.T. Oslin had such an amazing voice and will be missed. Prayers to her family during this time." - Johnny Lee
“I am very saddened by K.T.’s passing. I am a huge fan of her music.” - B.J. Thomas
“K.T. made a big impact on country music with her style, flair, and talented, unique voice during the Eighties Ladies era. My prayers go out to her family and friends.” - Janie Fricke
K.T. Oslin was truly the ultimate 80’s Lady... and so much more! Her spicy southern wit, mixed with her amazing voice, musical talent, and theatrical flair was a one of a kind recipe making her larger than life personality a delicious, sensual, soul stew that made country music lovers all over the world fall in love! The honesty in her heartfelt, velvety voice could mesmerize, make you laugh and cry all at the same time! I always loved her as an artist! And, I count it as one of life’s true blessings to have gotten to spend quality time with K.T., laughing and talking and getting to know her as a friend! We had so much fun! It makes me sad to think of her being gone, but she gave us all so much, that even through my sadness, just thinking about her makes me smile! God Bless You K.T...Carry on." - Deborah Allen
"She was the ultimate 80's lady." - Lacy J. Dalton
“K.T. Oslin was one of my music heroes because she never gave up on her dream. She signed with a major label in her 40's and had her first #1 record at the age of 45. I am ashamed to say. that in our youth-driven climate, that often listens with its eyes and not its ears, she would be a rarity today. She was an 80's lady with "balls," and I loved the passionate way she approached every song she sang. I often sing her song "Do Ya" in my roadshow--and I try to bring the same sass and class to the song as she did.” - Tim Atwood
“2020 just keeps rollin' in the sad news. The Nashville music community lost another great one today with K.T. Oslin. Prayers to her family during this difficult time.” - JD Shelburne
"K.T. Oslin was a great artist that taught us about life, love, joy, and pain, who also had the ability to connect with her audience like no other. Her music was awesome and soulful. I loved how she would squeeze every note and deliver a masterful expression of each song. I remember when I first heard her hit “Do Ya.” WOW! Rest In Peace K.T. and for sharing your life with us all." - Carl Ray
"The news of K.T.’s passing is so sad for all women in country music. She was a spitfire & a trailblazer for so many & will truly be missed! My prayers go out to her family and friends during this season.” - Paige King Johnson
"Another sad day in country music. We lost another great one! Rest well, K.T. Oslin. Thanks for leaving a legacy and the message that it’s never too late to chase after your dreams! Our thoughts and prayers to her fans and family!" - Danica Hart, Chapel Hart
"R.I.P. K.T. Oslin. You forged a path for women in country music that will inspire and encourage women to not let go of their dreams. You showed the world that talent is ageless." - JD Reynolds
THANKS FOR THE MUSIC K.T.!