Important folk and country figure Nanci Griffith has died at the age of 68 in her Nashville home. In a statement released a week after her death, her management Gold Mountain Entertainment said, “It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing.”
Born and raised in Texas, Griffith played a vital part of the folk and country scenes. She released her debut album There’s a Light Beyond These Woods in 1978 before breaking out with her 1987 album, Lone Star State of Mind, which peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album featured what is perhaps her most well-known song, “From a Distance,” which was originally written by Julie Gold. Griffith has also had some of her own songs achieve considerable fame from other artists covering them, like Kathy Mattea’s 1986 hit cover of the song “Love At The Five And Dime.” Griffith’s 1993 album, Other Voices, Other Rooms, won that year’s Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Over the course of her forty-year-long-career, Griffith collaborated with several musicians. Her list of collaborators include Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Adam Duritz, Jimmy Buffett and Suzy Bogguss.
Bogguss shared her feelings about Griffith via an Instagram post, “I feel blessed to have many memories of our times together along with most everything she ever recorded,” she said. “I’m going to spend the day reveling in the articulate masterful legacy she’s left us.”
Hootie & the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker shared his thoughts on Twitter, “Today I am just sad man,” he stated. “I lost one of my idols. One of the reasons I am in Nashville. She blew my mind the first time I heard Marie and Omie. And singing with her was my favorite thing to do.”
The official Twitter account for Austin City Limits also shared a heartfelt statement, saying, “Our hearts are heavy today hearing the news that Nanci Griffith has passed. She was a beautiful songwriter and a beacon in the Texas music scene for decades.” Griffith played on the program eight times over the decades, and it served as a key springboard for her career.