Jamie O’Hara, Nashville Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 70

by Halle Ames

Legendary Nashville singer and songwriter Jamie O’Hara has died at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer.

The talented mind had written hits for The Judds, Tim McGraw, George Jones, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood and others, has died after battling an ‘aggressive cancer.’

His wife, Lola White, made the grim announcement on Facebook last night.

“Dear friends & fans, it is with a broken heart that I must tell you that my husband, friend, and love of my life took his last breath this morning at 11:11 at Alive hospice, as my son Brian sang him a plethora of Jesse Winchester songs, all stunningly appropriate, though we’d never thought of them in this context before, and Jamie’s own songs, including the earliest ones, which were shockingly sophisticated for a man as young as he was when he began his career; and those of other friends. Jamie suffered tremendously in recent months. He’s no longer suffering, and for that, we can all be grateful. He will live in our hearts and in his songs. With love and gratitude to all our friends, on and offline, Lola.”

Jamie O’Hara Career

Jamie O’Hara was born in Toledo, Ohio, on August 8, 1950, and moved to Nashville to follow his dreams as a songwriter in the mid-1970s.

O’Hara met up with Kieran Kane, who was at the same publishing company, and the duo started the O’Kanes. The group released three albums. In addition, numerous songs peaked within the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

However, their most famous song, “Can’t Stop My Heart From Loving You,” became the O’Kanes’ first and only hit to reach the number one position in 1987. They also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals for the song.

In 1986, O’Hara wrote “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” for The Judds that reached number one on country radio and earned Jamie O’Hara a Grammy award for Best Country Song.

The O’Kanes would later break up in 1990, although Jamie O’Hara would continue to grow his solo career, releasing multiple albums.

[H/T The Boot]