Norah Lee Allen, Grand Ole Opry Singer and Wife of Oak Ridge Boys’ Duane Allen Dead at 76

Today is a sad day for the Oak Ridge Boys and fans of country music. Yesterday (March 31), Norah Lee Allen, Grand Ole Opry singer and wife of Duane Allen passed away after a long illness. She died at Vanderbilt Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. Her widower shared the news with his friends and family yesterday before the band shared it with fans on social media.

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“This morning, my wife of 54 years and 8 months took her last breath of air on planet Earth. Norah Lee went to be with Jesus at 7:28 AM Easter morning,” Allen shared in the statement. “She had not been feeling well for some time. Her family all spent the night with her last night at Vanderbilt Hospital. We took time singing with and to her, telling her stories, and loving her every second that God let us share her here on Earth,” he added.

Allen went on to say that he and the couple’s two children have been at Norah Lee’s side for more than two months. He thanked everyone who kept the Allen family in their thoughts and prayers.

More About Norah Lee Allen

The late Mrs. Allen was so much more than Duane’s wife and the mother of his children. However, that is not to say that she didn’t make their family her priority. She was also an accomplished vocalist and a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry’s house band. As a backup singer, Mrs. Allen shared the hallowed Opry stage with countless A-list musicians over the years.

According to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, of which Mrs. Allen is a member, her musical journey began at a young age. She started singing with her sisters in the Stuart Sisters Trio, formed by her father when she was only three years old. They toured and performed for nearly 17 years. Then, in 1968. She joined The Chuck Wagon Gang. She stayed with the country-gospel outfit for a few years before taking a job at Benson Publishing Group in Nashville.

She became a part-time member of the Grand Ole Opry Band in 1975. Five years later, she became a full-time background singer for the band.

Norah Lee is survived by her husband Duane Allen, their two children, and four grandchildren.

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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