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'Tennessee Waltz' singer Patti Page dies at 85

  • FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2009 file photo, singer Patti Page performs the Tennessee Waltz during halftime of a NCAA college football game Tennessee and Ohio in Knoxville, Tenn. Page, who made "Tennessee Waltz" the third best-selling recording ever, has died. She was 85. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, file)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Unforgettable songs like "Tennessee Waltz" and "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window?" made Patti Page the best-selling female singer of the 1950s and a star who would spend much of the rest of her life traveling the world.

When unspecified health problems finally stopped her decades of touring, though, Page wrote a sad-but-resolute letter to her fans late last year about the change.

"Although I feel I still have the voice God gave me, physical impairments are preventing me from using that voice as I had for so many years," Page wrote. "It is only He who knows what the future holds."

Page died on New Year's Day in Encinitas, Calif., according to publicist Schatzi Hageman, ending one of pop music's most diverse careers. She was 85 and just five weeks away from being honored at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy.

Page achieved several career milestones in American pop culture, but she'll be remembered for indelible hits that crossed the artificial categorizations of music and remained atop the charts for months to reach a truly national audience.


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