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Patti Page, 'Tennessee Waltz' Singer, Dead at 85

Pop-country crooner was best-selling female artist of 1950s

Patti Page circa 1950.
GAB Archive/Redferns
January 2, 2013 3:55 PM ET

Pop-country singer Patti Page died on January 1st in Encinitas, California. She was 85.

Born Clara Ann Fowler, Page was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s and had 19 gold and 14 platinum singles. Page landed on the charts 111 times, and her blend of genres made her a traditional-pop icon. She scored her first million-selling track in 1950 with "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming," and sang hits like "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window" and "Old Cape Cod." Her signature track, "Tennessee Waltz," later became an official state song of Tennessee, and her popularity led to her own TV shows on CBS, NBC and ABC in the Fifties and film roles in the Sixties.

Page received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Country Walk of Fame. She also won a Grammy in 1999 for her first live album, Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th Anniversary Concert, and continued to tour until her death. The White Stripes covered her 1948 track "Conquest" on their 2007 album Icky Thump.

Before her death, Page was announced as one of this year's recipients of the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards at this year's Grammy ceremony. She is survived by her two children, Daniel O'Curran and Kathleen Ginn, and sister Peggy Layton. Memorial services have not yet been made.

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