Country singer Jody Miller, who won a Grammy Award for her 1965 crossover hit “Queen of the House,” died Thursday. She was 80.
Miller died at her home in Blanchard, Oklahoma, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, Billboard reported.
“Queen of the House” was released as an answer to the hit “King of the Road” by Roger Miller (no relation), the website reported. The hit opened up a crossover career for Jody Miller.
“It was instant airplay. We sold a lot of records,” Miller told The Oklahoman. “They actually couldn’t make ‘em fast enough to sell. So, it was a giant hit for me.”
The singer performed for more than six decades. She toured with the Beach Boys and performed at President George H.W. Bush’s inauguration in 1989, The Oklahoman reported. She also had comedian Jerry Lewis in stitches when she accepted her Grammy in 1966 for “Queen of the House,” according to the newspaper.
Miller’s 1965 teen protest song, “Home of the Brave,” was her biggest-selling single, even though it was banned from some radio stations’ playlists, according to The Associated Press. Another hit was “Long Black Limousine,” a song about a man’s funeral procession.
She signed with Capitol Records as a folk artist in 1962 and released her debut album, “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe,” the following year, according to Billboard. She earned her first Billboard Hot 100 entry with “He Walks Like a Man” in 1964.
During the 1960s and ’70s, Miller charted 27 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, including top-five hits “Baby I’m Yours,” “There’s a Party Goin’ On” and “Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home.”
Myrna Joy Miller was born on Nov. 29, 1941, into a transplanted Oklahoma family that moved west in the 1930s, The Oklahoman reported. She was born during a stopover in Phoenix during the family’s move to Oakland, California.
Her father, a mechanic, made and played fiddles, while her mother sang, according to the newspaper. Miller would harmonize with her mother along with her four older sisters.
Miller won her Grammy for “Queen of the House” in the category of best country and western vocal performance by a female. She was nominated for two other Grammy Awards.
She retired in the 1980s to spend more time with her family, the AP reported. After her husband’s death in 2014, she recorded a 2018 single, “Where My Picture Hangs on the Wall,” with her daughter, Robin Brooks Sullivan, and her two grandchildren.
Miller was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2018, according to Billboard.
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