Holly Dunn (August 22, 1957 - November 15, 2016)
Singer Holly Dunn died on Tuesday morning (Nov 15, 2016) following a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59.
Nashville's WSMV reported that Dunn was in hospice care at the Gentiva Hospice at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dunn first recorded on MTM RECORDS, where she achieved a top 10 single with “Daddy’s Hands,” which proved to be her signature hit. Four more top 10 singles followed, then a move to WARNER BROS. in 1989 yielded two #1 singles, “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going.”
In 1997, DUNN segued to radio, hosting mornings at Country WWWW/DETROIT for a year.
She returned to NASHVILLE and eventually retired from the music business, relocated to NEW MEXICO, then devoted her energies to painting.
About Holly Dunn
Born Holly Suzette Dunn in San Antonio, Texas, on August 22, 1957.
In high school, she performed with a group called the Freedom Folk, which toured the south and performed at the White House bicentennial celebration. While attending Abilene Christian University, she sang with the school's Hilltop Singers touring choir, and also co-wrote a song with her brother called "Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind." It was recorded by Cristy Lane, which convinced Dunn to try her luck in Nashville after graduation.
She worked as a demo singer for a time before joining her brother Chris Waters signed to MTM as a staff songwriter at CBS.
1984: she moved over to MTM and penned material for several different singers, including Louise Mandrell, who made "I'm Not Through Loving You Yet" (co-written with Tom Shapiro), a hit when it rose to No.7 on Hot Country Songs in June 1984.
1985: In the wake of its success, Dunn landed a record contract in her own right, and released her first single.
1986: Her self-titled debut album appeared and produced her first Top Ten hit, "Daddy's Hands" (her fourth chart entry). It became arguably her signature song, and climbed to No. 7 in November 1986. Dunn wrote "Hands" by herself as a tribute to her father, a San Antonio minister.
Academy of Country Music Awards 1986
WINNER Top New Female Vocalist: Holly Dunn
1987: Her album CORNERSTONE contained two Top Five singles in "Love Someone Like Me" and "Only When I Love,"
CMA Awards 1987
1987 Horizon Award Winner beating out nominees T. Graham Brown, The O'Kanes, Restless Heart, Sweethearts of the Rodeo
“Daddy's Hands” was nominated for Song of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year nominee Michael Martin Murphey and Holly Dunn
1988: Dunn produced the follow-up, ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE, herself, resulting in the hits "Strangers Again" and "(It's Always Gonna Be) Someday." MTM subsequently went bankrupt
1989: Dunn switched from MTM to Warner Bros for 1989's THE BLUE ROSE OF TEXAS, which produced her first-ever #1 single, "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me," as well as the Top Five "There Goes My Heart Again."
1989: Dunn was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry
1990's HEART FULL OF LOVE spawned another chart-topper, "You Really Had Me Going," and Warner followed it with the hits compilation Milestones in 1991. One of the new tracks, her self-penned single "Maybe I Mean Yes," (#48 Hot Country Songs | Album Milestones: Greatest Hits) sparked controversy over its lyrical content, which some interpreted as an apology for date rape. Just as the subject of date rape and the slogan “No means no” were gaining currency. The refrain of the song was, “When I say no, I mean maybe, or maybe I mean yes.” Some music critics and many radio programmers maintained that the lyrics were implicitly offensive. Even so, the song went to No.48 before her record label stopped promoting the track.
1992: Dunn's popularity took a hit with the album GETTING IT DUNN (June 16, 1992), and she subsequently parted ways with Warner.
1995: She resurfaced on the smaller River North label with LIFE AND LOVE AND ALL THE STAGES
1997: She and was back on a major (A&M/ River North') for 1997's LEAVE ONE BRIDGE STANDING, which failed to revive her commercial standing.
Dunn's career even included a short stint in radio. Having worked in college radio, she joined WWWW-FM Detroit in 1997 as morning personality Jim Bosh's co-host in 1997, staying on-air for almost a year. "Working with Holly was one of the highlights of my career," Bosh told Billboard. "Holly was talented, gracious and always came to work with a great attitude and a smile on her face. We had many awesome experiences doing the show in the studio and on the road. The whole team had a great time off the air, as well, with many lunches and dinner parties and lots of laughs. Holly was class and warmth 24/7. I will miss her forever."
Holly toured the world extensively throughout her career, including multiple tours to perform for the US military stationed overseas.
Her talents did not begin and end with music. Because her mother was a gifted oil painter, Holly grew up with a natural love and talent for creating beautiful artwork.
2003: She kept a long-standing promise to herself and walked away from the music business to pursue her passion for art.
Joking in interviews throughout the years that she "only made music to pay for her art supplies," Holly worked in pastels and mixed media with her favorite subjects being the icons and architecture of the great American Southwest.
2016: The Country star revealed she was battling cancer. The 59-year-old told Christian website Hallels about her battle with the illness, which she said has worsened.
Holly explained that her faith has been helping her to get through this extremely difficult time.
'I had surgery and now I am having chemo treatments,' she said. 'I have since grown more tumors and it is going to be more of a battle than I anticipated, but I have a huge faith in the healing power of God and the healing power within me that originates from my God. Read more: Daily Mail
Holly recorded ten albums and achieved Top 10 status for 14 singles, reaching the coveted #1 on the country music charts four times.
The singer-songwriter rolled up 21 appearances on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart from 1985 to 1995.
Dunn’s heyday at radio ran from 1985, when she first charted with “Playing For Keeps,” (#62 Hot Country Songs; 1985) until 1995, when she scored her final single, “I Am Who I Am” (#56 Hot Country Songs)
Holly Dunn's 10 Biggest Billboard Hits
Rank, Title, Hot Country Songs Peak Position, Peak Date, Writers
1, "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me," No. 1 (one week; Chart), 1989 (writers Holly Dunn, Chris Waters, Tom Shapiro)
2, "Love Someone Like Me," No. 2, 1987 (writers Holly Dunn, Radney Foster)
3, "There Goes My Heart Again," No. 4, 1989 (writers Lonnie Wilson, Wayne Perry, Joe Diffee)
4, "Only When I Love," No. 4, 1987 (writers Holly Dunn, Chris Waters, Tom Shapiro)
5, "That's What Your Love Does to Me," No. 5, 1988 (writers Chick Rains, Bill Caswell)
6, "You Really Had Me Going," No. 1 (one week, Nov 17, 1990), 1990 (writers Holly Dunn, Chris Waters, Tom Shapiro)
7, "A Face in the Crowd" (with Michael Martin Murphy), No. 4, 1987 (writers Karen Staley, Gary Harrison)
8, "Strangers Again," No. 7, 1988 (writers Holly Dunn, Chris Waters)
9, "Daddy's Hands," No. 7, 1986 (writer Holly Dunn)
10, "(It's Always Gonna Be) Someday," No. 11, 1988 (writers Holly Dunn, Chris Waters, Tom Shapiro)
Additionally "Heart Full of Love" (written by Kostas) was released in January 1991 as the second single and title track from the album Heart Full of Love. The song reached #19 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles.
"Maybe" (written by Bill Rice and Sharon Vaughn) a duet with Kenny Rogers was released in February 17, 1990 as the fourth single from the album SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG (Rogers 21st studio album). The song reached #25 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles.
Holly Dunn logged six Top Country Albums entries, with 1987's Cornerstone her highest-charting (No.22).
Title, Year, Label, Billboard Top Country Albums Peak Position
HOLLY DUNN, 1986, MTM; #29
CORNERSTONE, 1987, MTM; #22
ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE; 1988; MTM; #26
THE BLUE ROSE OF TEXAS; July 10, 1989; Warner Bros.; #30
HEART FULL OF LOVE; May 10, 1990; Warner Bros.; #47
GETTING IT DUNN her sixth album released June 16, 1992 but did not chart. It included the singles "No Love Have I", "As Long as You Belong to Me" and "Golden Years". The Verlon Thompson/ Beth Nielsen Chapman-written "You Say You Will" was covered by Trisha Yearwood on her album Hearts in Armor (#12 Hot Country Songs; May 1993)
Holly signed with River North Records in 1995, releasing two albums for the label: LIFE AND LOVE AND ALL THE STAGES (1995) and LEAVE ONE BRIDGE STANDING (1997). Before retiring from music to pursue painting, she released one last LP in 2003, Full Circle, on the independent South Heart label, none of these troubled the Billboard charts.
Her 11 tracks Greatest Hits package, MILESTONES (released July 23, 1991; Warner Bros. Nashville) peaked at #25 on the Top Country Albums chart and #162 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by RIAA shortly after being released in 1991.
Holly's life will be honored with a "Celebration of Life" to be held Friday (Nov 18, 2016) 5 to 7 PM at the Dossman Funeral Home in Belton, TX. The gathering with be followed by services on Saturday (19) to be held at the United Methodist Church in Salado, TX at 1:00 PM. She will be laid to rest with family in Salado.
In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to please send donations in Holly's name to the GSC Foundation.
The link provides direct access to make donations to Mass General Hospital for the worthy cause of finding a cure for ovarian carcinosarcoma.
Billboard Holly Dunn, 'Daddy's Hands' Singer, Dies at 59
CMT Singer-Songwriter Holly Dunn Dies at 59
Nash Country Daily Holly Dunn Passes Away at Age 59
Rollingstone 'Daddy's Hands' Singer Holly Dunn Dead at 59
Sounds Like Nashville ‘Daddy’s Hands’ Singer Holly Dunn Passes Away
Taste Of Country Holly Dunn Dies at 59
Saving Country Music Holly Dunn Wasn’t Happy About Her ‘Total Expunging’ from the Grand Ole Opry (RIP)....But that love was not reciprocated. No longer living in Nashville, but still willing to keep up with her Opry commitments, Holly Dunn received word that she had been removed as a member.
“I have some amazing memories. I wish there was a way, though — just to make a suggestion to them — to keep a list of folks that were members in the past,” she said. “This whole total expunging you from the list is sort of a little harsh, I think. There are people on that list that I know for a fact might make it once a year if they’re lucky. It’s a little subjective. That’s my only gripe.”…
Grand Ole Opry
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Holly Dunn today. Thankful for the beautiful music she made over the years. pic.twitter.com/9o7lNjxk3K— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) 15 November 2016
Holly Dunn “Remembered”
Blake Shelton: Incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Holly Dunn.. I had no clue she had been battling cancer. Prayers for the family..
Chely Wright Holly Dunn has passed. She was my friend. Thank you, Holly, for all you did and all you were. So much grace. Xo c
Crystal Gayle tweeted I'm sorry to hear of Holly Dunn's passing. I've know Holly for many years. A great Artist & person. My prayers are with her family & friends
Darryl Worley tweeted Holly had such a sweet sweet spirit. It's hard to imagine her being gone. She will be missed. Angels are introducing her to the choir.
Keith Burns Rest in peace Holly Dunn.
Mary Gauthier This week, so far: the death of Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Mose Allison, Holly Dunn, and civility.
Susie McEntire tweeted RIP Holly Dunn. You were the real deal. May this song contribute to your legacy. We did our best. #hollydunn... http://fb.me/8grt3pStE
Terri Clark tweeted So sad to hear of yet another one of our artists gone too soon. Cancer sucks. #HollyDunn
Travis Tritt tweeted I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of my formal WB label mate Holly Dunn. Gone way too soon. RIP
The Oak Ridge Boys PIP Holly Dunn ... #daddyshands http://theboot.com/holly-dunn-dead-dies/
The Oak Ridge Boys PIP Holly Dunn ... #daddyshands http://theboot.com/holly-dunn-dead-dies/