How did KT Oslin die? A look at triple Grammy-winning artist's life before death at 78 after getting Covid-19

Oslin had been battling Parkinson’s disease and was diagnosed with Covid-19 only last week. Her death was confirmed by her friend, journalist Robert K. Oermann


                            How did KT Oslin die? A look at triple Grammy-winning artist's life before death at 78 after getting Covid-19
KT Oslin (Getty Images)

Singer and songwriter KT Oslin has died. The triple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter was best known for her songs '80s Ladies' and 'Do Ya' but had many Top 10 hits during the late 1980s and early '90s.

Oslin had been battling Parkinson’s disease and was diagnosed with Covid-19 only last week. Her death was confirmed by her friend, journalist Robert K. Oermann, who told the press that it was "unclear whether this [COVID-19] contributed to her death on Monday morning”. Oslin had already survived a quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery in 1995. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's in June 2015 and decided to move into an assisted-living facility the following year.  

Oslin, born Kay Toinette Oslin in Arkansas, achieved fame late. She was 45 when she released her chart-topping, debut country album '80’s Ladies' in 1987. The single on the album, also titled '80’s Ladies' won her, the solo composer and the CMA Award for 'Song of the Year' in 1988. She was the first woman to win the award. During her career, she also earned four Academy of Country Music honors, as well as her three Grammys. In 2014, she was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. She was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

While waiting for her big break in New York, she once worked as an extra in Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 video of 'Glory Days', in addition to singing ad jingles. Later, having studied drama in her college years, she made an easy transition from being a star country singer to a television actor. Oslin guest-starred on such TV series as 'Paradise' and 'Evening Shade'.

She had a prominent role in the made-for-TV movie 'Poisoned by Love' opposite Harry Hamlin. She also portrayed a nightclub owner in the 1993 feature film 'The Thing Called Love', directed by Peter Bogdanovich in Sandra Bullock’s first starring film. Oslin was a huge favorite with hosts like Carol Burnette (who she joined on 'Carol and Company'), Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, Joan Rivers, Ralph Emery, Oprah Winfrey and others. She was in the spotlight on ABC’s '20/20' and on her own TNN special 'USO Celebrity Tour'.

Oslin never married, and her family history might have been the reason. After their father died, she and her brother, Larry, 55, were uprooted repeatedly as their mother married and divorced four times. She once said that she "looked at marriage as something where you’re married for two years and then you divorce". But she didn't stay single over the years and had her share of lovers like Nashville record producer Steve Buckingham and her band’s drummer, Owen Hale.

In a 1993 interview, she expressed being "content" with her life. “I’m alone, but I like my own company. I have money. I can be an old lady and not worry. I’m content,” she said at the time. Oslin is survived by her aunt, Reba Byrd, in Austin, Texas, and her small but close-knit friend circle in Nashville.

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