Jim Ed Brown Passes Away At Age 81

Iconic singer from The Browns and his own solo career dies after battle with cancer.

Born in Sparksman, Arkansas on April 1, 1934, country singer James Edward Brown grew up idolizing Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe and later went on to sing with his sisters Maxine and Bonnie in their iconic band The Browns, including the country music classics “The Three Bells” and “I Heard The Bluebirds Sing.” The former lasted 10 weeks at #1 and the latter was released the same year Jim Ed was drafted into military service for two years. “The Three Bells” went on to to sell a million records and set the stage for the band’s later induction into the Grand Ole Opry in 1963. By 1967 they disbanded and Jim Ed embarked on a successful solo career.

Some of Jim Ed’s most famous singles for RCA Victor include “Pop A Top” and “Southern Loving.” He later recorded a string of duets in the 1970s with Helen Cornelius. The duo won the CMA Vocal Duo of the Year award in 1977 thanks to their many hits.

It was only this year that Jim Ed Brown released his first album in 35 years, In Style Again. The album was released by Plowboy Records and showcased a singer who was still able to perform in fine voice, despite undergoing treatment for cancer and being at an advanced age.

“The Grand Ole Opry family is truly saddened by the news of Jim Ed's passing,” shared Pete Fisher, Vice President, General Manager Grand Ole Opry. “While we will miss his kind heart and gentle nature, we will remember and celebrate one of music's smoothest and most beloved voices ever.”

According to the Tennessean, the day after announcing that his cancer had returned on June 3, Jim Ed was presented with a Country Music Hall of Fame medallion, five months ahead of the official ceremony. He and his sisters were announced as members of the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year in a happy ceremony.

Roughstock wishes to extend our condolences to the entire Brown family in their time of grief.