http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/music/country-matriarch-jean-shepard-passes-away-at-82-breaking-news/article/475687

Country matriarch Jean Shepard passes away at 82

Posted Sep 25, 2016 by Markos Papadatos
The country music community mourns the loss of its matriarch, Country Music Hall of Famer Jean Shepard. She was 82 years old.
Country singer Jean Shepard
Country singer Jean Shepard
Courtesy of BKD PR & Associates
Throughout her illustrious career in country music, Shepard had released over 70 radio singles to the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, where one of her songs ("A Dear John Letter") topped the charts. She recorded a total of 24 studio albums between 1956 and 1981, and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955. Shepard is the matriarch of the Grand Ole Opry and was its longest-standing member, after the death of Little Jimmy Dickens. In November of 2015, she celebrated her 60-year anniversary as a member of the Opry.
Speaking of "A Dear John Letter," it was the first single by a female country recording artist to sell over one million units. In 2014, the songstress released her long-awaited autobiography entitled Down Through The Years.
In "Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)," she showcased her impressive yodeling ability.
In 2011, Shepard finally got her due in the industry, and was inducted into the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Digital Journal's interview with Jean Shepard from two years prior may be seen here.