Nanci Griffith, Folk and Country Songwriter, Dead at 68

Nanci Griffith death: Grammy-winning singer dies aged 68

Nanci Griffith, the Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter from Texas whose literary songs like “Love at the Five and Dime” celebrated the South, has died. She was 68.

Her management company, Gold Mountain Entertainment, said Griffith died Friday but did not provide a cause of death.

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“It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing,” Gold Mountain Entertainment said in a statement.

Griffith worked closely with other folk singers, helping the early careers of artists like Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris. She had a high-pitched voice, and her singing was effortlessly smooth with a twangy Texas accent as she sang about Dust Bowl farmers and empty Woolworth general stores.

Griffith was also known for her recording of “From a Distance,” which would later become a well-known Bette Midler tune. The song appeared on Griffith’s first major label release, “Lone Star State of Mind” in 1987.

Her 1993 album “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” earned a Grammy for best contemporary folk album. Named after a Truman Capote novel, the album features Griffith singing with Harris, John Prine, Arlo Guthrie and Guy Clark on classic folk songs.

Later, Griffith’s work took on a more political tone, as on 2009’s The Loving Kind, which took on topics such as the Loving vs. Virginia court case and Barack Obama’s campaign. Her final album would come out in 2012 with the indie-label project Intersection.

In July, it was announced that Griffith was among the incoming class of the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame.


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