Country and folk singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith, whose career spanned well over four decades, has passed away at the age of 68. No immediate cause of death was revealed.
The announcement came from her management company, Gold Mountain Entertainment. “It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing,” Gold Mountain Entertainment said in a statement.
Griffith’s career started by playing small honky tonk clubs in her native Texas. She was signed to B.F. Deal Records and released her debut LP There’s a Light Beyond These Woods in 1978. Griffith would eventually record eighteen more studio albums, the last of which was 2012’s Intersection.
Griffith’s songwriting, focusing largely on the throwback Americana of the American south, took on universal qualities that made songs like ‘From a Distance’ and ‘I Knew Love’ standards that were covered by a variety of artists from different genres.
Griffith was also a highly sought after duet partner, performing with a large number of famous singers including Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Willie Nelson, Don McLean, and Judy Collins. She was a frequent staple of the Austin City Limits festival, and was a noted favourite among the hometown Texas crowds.
Her 1993 album Other Voices, Other Rooms won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 2008, Griffith won the Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award from the Americana Music Association.
Griffith had previously battled breast cancer and thyroid cancer. It is unknown whether either disease contributed to her death.