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Jody Miller, country’s Grammy-winning ‘Queen of the House’ singer, dies at age 80

A black and white photo of two men flanking one women, all three holding Grammy Awards
Country singer Jody Miller was a Grammy winner in 1966, along with Johnny Mandel, left, and Herb Alpert.
(Bettmann Archive)

Jody Miller, whose “Queen of the House” won the 1966 Grammy Award for country performance by a woman, died Thursday at age 80.

Miller died in her hometown of Blanchard, Okla., of complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to Universal Music Group, owner of Capitol Records, which released most of her hits.

Queen of the House” was released in 1965 as an answer to Roger Miller’s hit “King of the Road.” The hit opened up a crossover career for Jody Miller, who wasn’t related to the “King of the Road” composer and singer.

Her 1965 teen protest song “Home of the Brave” was her biggest-selling single, despite being banned from some radio stations’ playlists. Sample lyrics: “The school board says, ‘He can’t come to school, no more’ / unless he wears his hair like he wore it before. / The PTA and all the mothers, say he ought to look like the others. / Home of the brave, land of the free / why won’t you let him be what he wants to be.”

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Loretta Lynn was arguably the most important female figure in postwar country music as her music challenged the norm of domestic life in rural America.

Another hit was “Long Black Limousine,” a song about a man’s funeral procession.

In the 1970s, Miller moved to Epic Records where she had hits with “Baby I’m Yours,” “There’s a Party Goin’ On,” “Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home,” and the Grammy-nominated crossover hit cover of “He’s So Fine.”

She retired in the 1980s to spend more time with her husband, Monty Brooks, and her children. After her husband’s death, she recorded a 2018 single, “Where My Picture Hangs on the Wall,” with her grandson Montana Sullivan and daughter Robin Brooks Sullivan.

Times staff writer Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.


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