Jody Miller, a Grammy winning crossover artist with her 1965 hit “Queen of the House,” died Thursday in Blanchard, Oklahoma from complications related to Parkinson’s disease, her record label announced.
She was 80 years old.
“Jody Miller’s talent cannot be overstated. She had this innate, God-given ability to interpret and to communicate with the most beautiful tones and inflection,” her longtime representative Jennifer McMullen said in a statement. “She made it look and sound so easy that it sometimes takes a moment to realize the greatness of what you are hearing. But she was just as authentic and exceptional in her own life as she was on stage and on record.”
She was first signed to Capitol Records in 1962 as a folk artist. Her debut album, “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe,” released the following year. Miller’s first hit single, “He Walks Like a Man,” landed on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.
She is best known for the single “Queen of the House,” which crossed over from the pop to country charts and won her the best female country performance in 1966. The hit was hailed as paving the way for other female artists, like Linda Ronstadt, Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John, to have crossover success.
Miller’s controversial teen protest anthem “Home of the Brave” became her best selling US single in 1965, despite having been banned from radio.
Miller later began recording for Epic Records in Nashville, where she had a run of hits, including the Top 5 singles “Baby I’m Yours,” There’s a Party Goin’ On,” “Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home,” and the Grammy nominated crossover hit “He’s So Fine.”
She was also a frequent guest on television shows such as “Hee Haw” and “Pop! Goes the Country.”
Retiring in the early 1980s to spend more time with her husband, Monty Brooks, and daughter, Robin, Miller helped manage her husband’s thriving quarter horse breeding and training business at their farm in Oklahoma.
After rededicating her life to Christ in the 1990s, Miller recorded half a dozen gospel albums, culminating in her induction into the International Country Music Hall of Fame.
Following the death of her husband of 52 years, Miller began performing with her daughter and grandchildren, Montana and Layla Sullivan, as Jody Miller and Three Generations. They released a single in 2018 titled, “Where My Picture Hangs On the Wall.”
In 2021, Miller attended the groundbreaking for a Blanchard Public School Building named for her, The Jody Miller Performing Arts Center, an honor which she called “better than a Grammy!” at the time.