Country legend Lynn Anderson dead at 67

Singer Lynn Anderson is pictured at a church in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee in this May 2015 handout photo.
Singer Lynn Anderson is pictured at a church in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee in this May 2015 handout photo. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Grammy-winning country legend Lynn Anderson, who sprang to international stardom with her 1970s hit Rose Garden, has died at the age of 67, news reports said Saturday.

Anderson died Thursday of a heart attack at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after being admitted for pneumonia, publicist Mark Logsdon told CNN.

Anderson had a string of other hits to become the biggest singer in country music of her era, before going on to moderate success as an actress.

But it was for (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden that she will be most fondly remembered, topping the charts in countries across the world.

The song’s namesake album held the title of the best-selling country LP by a solo female artist from 1971 until Shania Twain broke its record in 1997, Rolling Stone magazine said.

It was that which earned the blonde-haired Anderson, born in Grand Forks, North Dakota to songwriter parents, her Grammy.

In her acceptance speech for the award, she thanked her husband Glenn Sutton, whom she was married to from 1968 to 1977.

“I had Rose Garden and a little girl named Lisa and they’re both produced by my husband Glenn Sutton, thank you,” the smiling singer said.

The song catapulted her into mainstream fame, winning her fans outside of the country world, where she already enjoyed notable success with a string of hits.

“Rose Garden was the first pop hit, it was the first number one pop hit, but I had a lot of records before,” she said in an interview on the 2004 DVD Lynn Anderson Live At The Renaissance Centre.

“So I was able, when Rose Garden came out, to be able to work a show and not just stand up there and sing Rose Garden 10 times,” she said with a characteristic southern twang.

She called herself a “crossover” artist, having produced a number of records in various genres.

“Mine has kind of gone the whole gamut of pop, country, blue grass,” she said.


The country world mourned the death of one of its finest, with singer Dolly Parton leading the tributes.

“Lynn is blooming in God’s rose garden now. We will miss her and remember her fondly,” media quoted Parton as saying.

Fans also paid their respects on Anderson’s official Facebook page.

“Good bye Lynn Anderson. I have many happy moments listening to you,” wrote one.

Anderson was raised in California and attributed her love of country music to her mother Liz Anderson, a renowned country singer.

Anderson moved to Nashville in 1970, providing the springboard for the highest point in her career.

Aside from Rose Garden, other notable successes included Rocky Top, Cry, How Can I Unlove You, Keep Me in Mind, You’re My Man and Fool Me, in a career that spanned four decades.

She was still performing until the end of her life, with her last album – of Gospel music – coming out in June.

She is survived by her father, Casey Anderson, her partner, Mentor Williams, three children and four grandchildren, according to CNN.