The maverick country music singer-songwriter passed away Monday at age 78.
More colleagues and admirers have offered tributes in released statements and on social media to K.T. Oslin, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who passed away Monday at age 78.
Oslin was the first female songwriter in CMA Awards history to win Song of the Year, taking the prestigious prize for her 1987 smash hit “’80s Ladies.” As Rolling Stone noted in a celebratory obituary, the Arkansas-born entertainer was 45 when she made a career breakthrough with her chart-topping debut album of the same title — “a remarkable feat then for a woman in country music and a near impossibility today.” She also charted with such songs as “Do Ya,” “I’ll Always Come Back” “Hold Me” and “Come Next Monday.”
Among the notables singing Oslin’s praises:
“K.T. Oslin was a pioneer in every sense of the word. Oslin shattered the long-standing industry norms of who got a shot at making it in the business. Nashville was absolutely gobsmacked by her genius and the gatekeepers didn’t even have a chance to decide whether or not they’d let her in. K.T. Oslin didn’t ask anyone for permission to enter. She waltzed in with her brilliant songs, her unmatched intellect, her perfectly foul mouth and she changed everything— forever.”
“I am so sad to hear that K.T. Oslin has passed. She was truly one of the best singers I ever heard. I loved the way she made the words come alive with the expressiveness of her unique voice. Thank God we still have her music to learn from.”
"What a unique talent. She was a breath of fresh air to country music. We will miss you.”
"Did we look up to her? Did we admire her? Hell, we studied her. As a young artist I knew she knew things I wanted to know. I met K.T. Oslin on her terms and never regretted it. We all just loved her.”
“Sad to hear that K.T. Oslin has passed away. I toured with her often at the beginning of my career and we even hosted the Music City News Awards show together along with Vince Gill. She was a brilliant songwriter and a helluva lady.”
“First off, I’m blown away to get the sudden news today. It was very awakening to say the least. I was a huge K.T. Oslin fan and just recorded one of her songs on my last album with Pam Tillis. She was a big inspiration to me and her writing about the strength of women. I also know she had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was a great lady from a great time of great music. One who will truly be missed by me and many fans.”
"I nearly ran off the road when ‘Don’t kiss like we’re married, kiss me like we’re lovers’ came across my car radio back in 1980 somethin’ or other. I nearly fell out of my rockin’ chair just this minute when I listened to it again. What a song!! What a singer!! What a songcraftswoman!! What a woman... PERIOD!! Rest in Peace, Lady K. T. Why don’t you go look up my old friend Roy Orbison and y’all write and sing a duet up there. I always thought you were a female Roy Orbison... or maybe Roy was a male K.T. Oslin. I miss both of you."
"K.T. was the definition of a songstress. Her work stood on its own and will always stand the test of time.”
Randy Owen of Alabama
“She was one of the most unique, talented songwriters and singers in music. She will be missed. Rest in Peace, K.T.”
“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.”
Lacy J. Dalton
"She was the ultimate 80's lady."
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”