Singer and songwriter K.T. Oslin has died. The Grammy-, ACM- and CMA-winning hitmaker was best known for songs including “80s Ladies” and “Do Ya” but had many Top 10 hits during the late 1980s and early ’90s.
Music Row was first to report Oslin’s death at the age of 78, citing a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease and a more recent battle with COVID-19 as possible contributors to her passing. The industry trade magazine says Oslin had been living in an assisted-living facility since 2016 and died Monday morning (Dec. 21). Her official cause of death has not yet been shared.
Oslin found country radio success remarkably late in life, as she was 45 years old when a trio of Top 10 country airplay hits pushed her into the mainstream spotlight. “I’ll Always Come Back” followed “80s Ladies” and “Do Ya” as hit songs, and others such as “Money,” “Hold Me” and “Hey Bobby” followed in 1988 and 1989.
Both the ACM and CMA Awards named Oslin the Top Female Vocalist in 1988, and she won a pair of Grammy Awards for “Hold Me” in 1989, which followed a Grammy win for “80s Ladies” the year prior. “Come Next Monday,” Oslin’s final No. 1 hit, earned two Grammy nominations in 1990.
After her commercial career peaked in the early ’90s, Oslin turned to acting and found roles on various television specials and movies, and — as Music Row points out — was a favorite on late-night talk shows. She intentionally slowed down around this time and had at least one major health scare in the 20 years before revealing her Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2015.
Every time I hear ‘80s Ladies’ I can’t help but think about my mom, my aunt Peggy and aunt Debbie. This song brings back a life I miss…because I really miss having them all together in the same room talking shit like they always did. #RIPKT ❤️