Singer and Songwriter Jamie O'Hara Dies at 70

Jamie O'hara

Singer and songwriter Jamie O'Hara has died. According to his wife, Lola White, O'Hara died on Thursday (Jan. 7) after a battle with a very aggressive cancer. He was 70 years old. O'Hara has not only written songs for the Judds ("Grandpa [Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old days), Gary Allan ("Man to Man"), George Jones ("The Cold Hard Truth") but he also released a hymns album a few years ago. Dream Hymns also his final record features reflective spiritual offerings such as "Mary Tell your Son," "For Mercy" and "Living Water."

"It is with a broken heart that I must tell you that my husband, friend and love of my life took his last breath this morning at 11:11 at Alive Hospice," White writes on Facebook, "as my son Brian sang him a plethora of Jesse Winchester songs ... and Jamie's own songs ... and those of other friends.

"Jamie suffered tremendously in recent months. He's no longer suffering, and for that we can all be grateful," she adds. "He will live in our hearts and in his songs."

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in August of 1950, O'Hara moved to Nashville in the mid-1970s, where he began work as a songwriter. Between 1986 and 1990, he and Kieran Kane, who was signed to the same publishing company, worked together in the O'Kanes. The duo released three albums via Columbia Records and charted a handful of Top 10 hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including "Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You," which became the duo's first and only No. 1 hit in 1987.

O'Hara's best-known song was "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)," which became a massive hit for the Judds. The song reached No. 1 hit on country radio, and it also won O'Hara a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1986.

O'Hara's wife revealed his cancer diagnosis on Sunday (Jan. 3). "It is with deep sorrow, dear friends, that I must tell you that my husband Jamie, the love of my life, has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that has us measuring his life in weeks," White wrote. "Something about making an announcement in this format seems very wrong, but there are so many people who should know, and so little time to contact everyone individually. I apologize for that, but I did want you to know.

"My heart is shattered, and I'm spending every moment I can with him."


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