’80s Country Hitmaker Holly Dunn Dead at 59

Steve Eichner/WireImage

Holly Dunn, who scored a string of country hits in the late ’80s and early nineties, has died after a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59.  The Nashville Tennessean reports that Dunn died Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Holly got her start as a songwriter with her brother, Chris Waters, when one of their songs was cut by Cristy Lane.  She later worked as a demo singer in Nashville, and she and Chris continued to write. Louise Mandrell scored a top 10 hit with their composition “I’m Not Through Loving You Yet.”  In 1985, she signed a record deal and her first top 10 hit, in 1986, was the now-classic “Daddy’s Hands.”

Holly also duetted with Michael Martin Murphy on his hit “A Face in Crowd” before scoring three top 10 hits in a row on her own from her second album, Cornerstone: “Love Someone Like Me,” “Only When I Love” and “Strangers Again.”  Her 1988 album Across the Rio Grande featured the hits “That’s What Your Love Does to Me” and “(It’s Always Gonna Be) Someday.”

After her record label, MTM, folded, Holly scored a new deal and continued to chart hits, such as the #1 hit “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “There Goes My Heart Again.”  “You Really Had Me Going,” from her 1990 album Heart Full of Love, became her second and final #1 hit.

She continued to release music, but then took a job as a deejay on a country station in Detroit.  She later co-hosted TNN’s Opry Backstage show. In 2003, she retired from music to paint full-time.

Early in 2016, she revealed that she’d been diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.