Happy Birthday Patty Loveless: Relive the Country Icon’s Stellar Career

by Jacklyn Krol

Patty Loveless is celebrating her 64th birthday today. Let’s take a look back at some of her most iconic moments.

Her Beginnings

Loveless was born Patricia Lee Ramey in Kentucky on January 4, 1957. Music runs in the family as she is first cousins with Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. Her older sister, Dottie, began performing at local venues in Louisville. Loveless began traveling with her sister and brother, Roger, who performed together as the Swinging Rameys. She soon realized her dream of becoming an artist.

Dottie got married and left the act so Loveless took her spot before becoming the lead singer of the Wilburn Brothers’ band. She fell in love with the band’s drummer, Terry Lovelace, and they married. Soon after, she established her stage name so people wouldn’t associate her with an adult star, Linda Lovelace. They performed in a rock band for several years before divorcing in 1986.

She returned to Nashville the year before their divorce was finalized. She wanted to get back to her country roots with the help of her brother. They made a demo and she was signed to a short-term agreement with MCA Nashville. Meanwhile, Roger became a producer on The Porter Wagoner Show.

Back to Nashville

After signing her record contract, she released her debut single, “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights.” She followed up with her second single, “I Did.” However, it was released alongside other MCA artists and it was charting extremely well. MCA wanted to pull the song from radio to give a chance for their other artists to succeed in exchange for an album contract. ”So I lost a period of probably about a year after I began to happen,” Loveless told the Chicago Tribune. “It was like, `Patty Loveless: She happened, but now where is she? Maybe MCA doesn`t believe in her anymore.” The song was later released on her debut self-titled album.

Her second album, If My Heart Had Windows solidified her status as a country musician. She reached the top ten with singles and was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. She was touring with acts like George Strait, George Jones, and Reba McEntire.

Ironically, it was vocal surgery for removing an enlarged blood vessel that improved her voice. She signed with Epic Records and worked on her next album. Her single “Blame It on Your Heart” went No. 1.

When Angels Fly earned the CMA Award for Album of the Year and gained four singles in the Top 10. Her next record, The Trouble With The Truth earned her Female Vocalist of the Year at both the ACMs and CMAs. In 2001, she shifted from country to bluegrass and later left her record contract. Although her music still features country roots and she frequently collaborates with other artists like Bob Seger, George Strait, and Vince Gill.

Loveless released her tribute album, Sleepless Nights, which earned her a nomination for Best Country Album. Her last record, Mountain Soul II, won the Best Bluegrass Album award at the Grammys.

Overall, she has over 40 singles reach the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and five No. 1 singles. She has fourteen albums under her belt along with compilation records. She has four certified Platinum albums and two Gold records.