Jody Miller, Grammy Award-Winning Country Music Singer, Dies at 80

by Suzanne Halliburton
David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

Country music star Jody Miller, a Grammy Award winner from the 1960s, died Thursday morning. She was 80 years old.

Her family announced her passing on her daughter’s Facebook page called Middle Sister. The post said: “Middle Sister is sorry to announce the passing of Jody Miller this morning, music icon and mother of Robin Brooks.

“Please remember the family as they deal with this great loss.” Miller had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s seven years ago.

Jody Miller Earned a Grammy in 1966 for Her First Try at Country Music

She vaulted to national attention in the mid-1960s. Capitol had her record a song called “Queen of the House.” It was a sassy answer to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” Plus, it was one Oklahoman connecting with another resident of the Sooner State.

“It was instant airplay,” Miller recalled in an interview with the Oklahoman. “We sold a lot of records. They actually couldn’t make ‘em fast enough to sell. So, it was a giant hit for me.”

Miller won the Grammy for top female country vocalist. Conversely, Roger Miller took home six for his song and album.

Jody Miller won a Grammy in 1966. In this photo, she’s with Johnny Mandel, who won for song of the year, and Herb Alpert, who took home three trophies. (Getty Images).

Miller said “Queen of the House” officially launched her career as a country singer. Before, she’d considered herself a folk performer. And she had a successful run in that genre. She toured Hawaii with the Beach Boys and appeared on the same TV episodes as the Rolling Stones. Glen Campbell and Leon Russell even worked on her working on her records. 

She signed a country deal with Epic Records in 1970. And by 1987, she released an album of patriotic tunes. She soon learned that someone very important loved her work. That was George H.W. Bush, then the vice president. When voters elected the elder Bush president in November, 1988, he invited Miller to play at his inauguration.

Then by 1993, she switched musical genres again. This time, she tried gospel singing.

“It’s the gift that I’ve been given, to sing,” Jody Miller told The Oklahoman. “I think my Lord deserves recognition for that … so I love to use that gift.”

She used the gift again when she helped form the group, Three Generations. Her daughter and grandson joined her.