Anderson died on Thursday (July 30) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after suffering a heart attack, Nashville’s The Tennessean newspaper reports. She had recently been hospitalized for pneumonia after a trip to Italy. Lynn was 67 years old.
Born Lynn Rene Anderson in 1947 in Grand Forks, N.D., Anderson was raised in California by parents who were both songwriters; her mother, Liz Anderson, most notably wrote “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” for Merle Haggard.
Anderson made her recording debut in 1966 at age 19 with “For Better or for Worse,” a duet with Jerry Lane. The single did not chart, but subsequent singles including “Ride, Ride, Ride” and “If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)” brought her to wider attention, along with a two-year stint as a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show in the late ’60s. “Lynn Anderson really helped expand the boundaries of country music because there wasn’t a lot of (it) on network television at that time,” Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs tells The Tennessean.
In 1970 Anderson released “Rose Garden,” which became the defining song of her career. It spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles chart, and was also a hit in adult contemporary and mainstream pop. She won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the recording, and she also took home CMA Female Vocalist of the Year honors in 1971.
She continued to record throughout the 1970s and early ’80s, scoring her final Top 10 hit, “You’re Welcome to Tonight,” in 1983. She recorded sporadically after that, but devoted much of her time to her lifelong love of horses, becoming involved in therapeutic horse riding programs for children.
In later years Anderson made headlines with a series of run-ins with law enforcement, including drunk driving arrests in 2004 and 2006. In 2005 she was accused of shoplifting a Harry Potter DVD and charged with resisting arrest after reportedly punching the arresting officer. In 2014 she was arrested and charged with a DUI after a minor traffic accident in Nashville, issuing a statement apologizing for the incident. “By the grace of God, I am very grateful that no one was injured as a result,” she said. “I am committed to the accountable steps that I will be facing on the road to recovery and am deeply sorry for anyone that I have harmed along this path.” Anderson is survived by her father and three children. Funeral arrangements are pending
When you are going through a dark time-a hard time-it’s easy to project that darkness into the future. The longer you struggle with adverse circumstances, the darker the way before you appears-and the harder it is to imagine yourself walking along bright paths again. The temptation is to just give up and let misery become your companion. So it is crucial at such times to remember that I am your constant Companion. Moreover, because I am Sovereign God, I am able to turn your darkness into Light.
When you feel on the verge of sinking in despair, turn to Me for help. Cling to My hand, and walk by faith through the darkness. Do not focus on the circumstances that are weighing you down. Instead, through eyes of faith, look ahead to brighter times, and praise Me for them. While you worship Me in the midst of darkness, I enable you to see the first gleam of dawn on the path before you. Continue walking worshipfully with Me-a walk of faith. As you persevere along this path, the dim light will gradually shine brighter and brighter till the full light of day.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. -Isaiah 61:1
You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. -2 Samuel 22:29
We walk by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7 nkjv
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full lights of day. -Proverbs 4:18