Oslin was 45 when “80’s Ladies” was released
Iconic singer/songwriter K.T. Oslin has died at the age of 78. She had been living in an assisted-living facility since 2016 due to Parkinson’s disease. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, but it’s unclear if it contributed to her death as of press time on Monday (Dec 21st).
“K.T. Oslin had one of the most soulful voices in country music and was a strong influence for women with her hit ‘80’s Ladies’,” says CMA CEO Sarah Trahern. “I was fortunate to work with K.T. on a number of television shows in the late 90s. She was always gracious to the crews and up-and-coming talent performing alongside her. She truly had one of the best voices in the history of our format. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones at this difficult time.”
Kay Toinette Oslin in Crossett, Arkansas on May 15, 1942. She made her way onto the music scene in 1964 in a trio with Guy Clark and a duo with Frank Davis via Jester Records. She had settled in Manhattan where she focused on acting and singing.
Elektra Records released two country singles in 1980-1981 that didn’t fare well. She remained in New York and appeared as an extra in Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” video and sang ad jingles. It wasn’t until 1987 when she was 45 years old that she became a star in country music with the breakout hit “80’s Ladies” about women maturity via RCA Records.
It was her first Top 40 hit and saw her rise to an unlikely fame that saw her release several No. 1’s and Top 40 hits. She released several music videos that showcased her comedic timing as other country artists began recording her songs. Dan Seals, Anne Murray, The Forester Sisters, Dusty Springfield, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan have all recorded her songs.
Oslin retired from the industry in 2015. She won four Academy of Country Music Awards and multiple Grammys and ACM Awards. Oslin was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014 and was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.
Funeral arrangements are pending.