Legendary country songwriter and music artist Jamie O’Hara has died at the age of 70, according to his widow, Lola White.
On Thursday afternoon, White confirmed his death in a statement through his official Facebook page. On Sunday, she revealed that he had been quietly coping with cancer.
White wrote, “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,” she added. “He will live in our hearts and in his songs. With love and gratitude to all our friends, on and offline, Lola.”
On Sunday, White detailed his condition, stating, “FROM LOLA: It is with deep sorrow, dear friends, that I must tell you that my husband Jamie, the love of my life, has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, that has us measuring his life in weeks.”
“Something about making such an announcement in this format seems very wrong, but there are so many people who should know, and so little time to contact everyone individually,” she continued. “I apologize for that, but I did want you to know. My heart is shattered, and I’m spending every moment I can with him.”
Born on August 8, 1950, in Toledo, Ohio, O’Hara attended Ottawa Hills High School and played Varsity Football. A knee injury ended his career in football so he shifted his focus to songwriting and singing.
The Tennessee-based Moraine Music Group said, “WE LOVE LOLA AND JAMIE WITH ALL OUR HEARTS. We’ll be honoring Jamie by sharing his beautiful music, starting with his classic, ‘Grandpa.’”
O’Hara won a Grammy award as the writer behind The Judds’ iconic track, “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days’).” From 1986 to 1990, he and Kieran Kane comprised The O’Kanes, a pair that charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, including the No. 1 single “Can’t Stop My Heart from Loving You.”