Pop-country star Patti Page, the best-selling female artist of the 50s, has died at the ripe old age of 85 in Encinitas, California on New Year's Day. Seacrest Village Retirement Communities, where she settled-in during her twilight years, confirmed the news of her death. Although the cause of death was not yet officially announced, her longtime personal manager Michael Glynn revealed she had already been suffering from heart and lung disease.
Born Clara Ann Fowler, Page landed on the Billboard charts 111 times, and earned 19 gold and 14 platinum singles in her 7-decade musical career. Her singing style may not have received a lot of praise from critics but her sentimental songs were well-received by the public, making them into big hits. Page's "Tennessee Waltz" alone spent months on top of the pop, country and R'n'B charts and sold 10 million copies.
Page began her career at Tulsa radio station KTUL, hosting her own country music radio show "Meet Patti Page". She had her first platinum-selling hit "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming", upon signing under Mercury Records in 1950. She also dabbled in TV, hosting the 15-minute CBS show "Music Hall" in 1952, NBC's "The Patti Page Show" in 1956, and one season of "The Big Record" between the years 1957 to 1958.
But being a singer/musician above all, Page continued to sing professionally into her 70s and even won her first and only Grammy award in 1999 for her album "Live at Carnegie Hall" which she recorded in 1997, celebrating 50 years of her stellar musical career.
Page proved to be a true multi-media artist when, having made the rounds of radio and TV, she even made it to the movies, via her recording of the "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" theme. She even got to perform it during the 1965 Academy Awards telecast when the 1964 thriller starring Bette Davis got nominated for an Oscar.
The legendary Page has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Country Walk of Fame. She is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in this year's Grammy Awards ceremonies.