It’s news that is sure to put locals in a sad Lone Star state of mind: Austin-spawned singer-songwriter and Grammy Award winner Nanci Griffith has died.
According to her management company, Gold Mountain Entertainment, Griffith — who was born in Seguin and raised in Austin and performed many a packed show here during her impressive decades-long music career — passed away Friday, August 13, the Associated Press reports. She was 68 and no cause of death was provided.
“It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing,” a Gold Mountain Entertainment statement said.
Though noted for helping lift the careers of other folk artists, including Emmy Lou Harris and Lyle Lovett, Griffith was a musical force in her own right, her dulcet vocals and poetic phrasing charming Texas fans who cherish the craft of singer-songwriters above all.
Collecting an array of accolades throughout her career, Griffith won a Grammy Award for her Other Voices/Other Rooms record, and was nominated several other times. And many will recognize her version of “From a Distance,” which appeared on her Lone Star State of Mind album from 1987 and would later become a major hit when covered by Bette Midler.
The AP reports that the news of Griffith’s death is generating an outpouring of sadness on social media from fans, friends, and fellow musicians, including country singer Suzy Bogguss — who had a Top 10 hit with Griffith’s “Outbound Plane” — and Darius Rucker, former frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish turned country crooner.
Calling Griffith one of his idols, Rucker posted to Twitter that her voice blew his mind and that singing with her was one of his favorite things to do.
Bogguss shared a similar sentiment on Instagram: “My heart is aching. A beautiful soul that I love has left this earth. I feel blessed to have many memories of our times together along with most everything she ever recorded. I’m going to spend the day reveling in the articulate masterful legacy she’s left us. Rest my dear friend Nanci Griffith.”