Paul Natkin/Getty Jamie O'Hara
Legendary country songwriter Jamie O'Hara has died. He was 70.
On Thursday afternoon, his widow, Lola White, confirmed his death in a statement via his official Facebook page. She previously revealed on Sunday that he had been quietly coping with cancer.
In her emotional announcement, she 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. He will live in our hearts and in his songs. With love and gratitude to all our friends, on and offline, Lola."
In the statement she previously shared on Sunday, posted by the Moraine Music Group, White detailed her late husband's condition. "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."
The Tennessee-based Moraine Music Group added, "WE LOVE LOLA AND JAMIE WITH ALL OUR HEARTS. We'll be honoring Jamie by sharing his beautiful music, starting with his classic, 'Grandpa.'"
Paul Natkin/Getty Jamie O'Hara with fellow musicians
Born Aug. 8, 1950 in Toledo, Ohio, O'Hara had dreams to pursue a career in American Football after his time playing varsity football at Ottawa Hills High School, where he attended. During his time as an athlete, O'Hara sustained a knee injury, which threw his plans off course. Soon after, he switched gears to focus on music.
O'Hara moved to Nashville by 1975. In 1986, he won a Grammy award as the writer behind The Judds' iconic track, "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days')." He earned two additional nominations for his work in country music. O'Hara recorded three albums of his own, titled Rise Above It, Beautiful Obsession and Dream Hymns (released in 1994, 2001 and 2012 respectively). The late star also wrote several Billboard chart-toppers, including "Can't Stop My Heart from Loving You" by The O'Kanes and "Man to Man" by Gary Allan.