20 years ago today, many country artists gathered to pay tribute for the death of the amazing “First Lady of Country Music,” Tammy Wynette. Four days after her death on April 6, 1998, a public memorial service was held at the Ryman Auditorium. This is where Wynette performed many times as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Artists like Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, and Lorrie Morgan performed at the service. Many fans attended the service to pay their respects.
Tammy Wynette’s Best Song
Wynnette was best known for her top recorded hit, “Stand by Your Man.” In 1968, the song was written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill. Her song was the most recorded song in the history of country music. “Stand by Your Man” was the defining moment of her career. It even surpassed her top hit song “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” “Stand by Your Man” garnered the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs for 3 weeks, and remained on the chart for 22 weeks in total, in 1968. Wynette’s song crossover to the pop charts and peaked at No. 11 for 11 weeks in 1969.
Before her death, she has been suffering a lot of illnesses, leading to her frequent hospitalization. She even reached a point where she became dependent on the use of painkillers. However, she eventually overcame it by seeking help. Despite all of her surgeries and pain she has been going through she still manage to continue recording songs and perform live.
She died April 6, 1998, in her house while she was sleeping. The cause of her death was a blood clot in her lungs (Pulmonary Embolism). Wynette died at the age of 55 years old.
Controversy After Her Death
A year after her death Wynette’s daughter, Jackie Daly, sued George Richey for the death of their mother. Hence, an autopsy was performed to confirm the cause of Wynette’s death. However, the case didn’t have much evidence, leading to the drop in the lawsuit.