Twenty-three years ago today (Aug. 3, 1999) was a bittersweet day for the friends and family of Patsy Cline. It was on that date that the singer was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in honor of her many career achievements.
Cline died tragically on March 5, 1963, when she was only 30 years old, when a small plane she was a passenger in crashed en route to her home in Nashville. She was a true pioneer in country music, becoming the first female country artist to headline her own shows and among the first to perform at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. Cline released three studio albums and more than 30 singles, six of which landed in the Top 10, before her untimely death; her classic hit “Crazy,” written by Willie Nelson, was named the No. 1 jukebox hit of all time in 1997, with her No. 1 hit “I Fall to Pieces” landing at No. 17 on the list as well.
Though her life was cut short, Cline’s extraordinary musical legacy has continued to live on: A movie about her life, Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline, starring Jessica Lange as Cline, was released in 1985. Although a commercial success, many said that parts of the movie — including the claim that Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick, was abusive and the type of airplane that she was flying in — were inaccurate. Nonetheless, Lange was nominated for at the Academy Awards for her portrayal of Cline. Fall 2019 will also see a Lifetime movie, Patsy & Loretta, about the lives of Cline and her friend Loretta Lynn.
More than 30 records of Cline’s music have been released since her death, including Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits, which has sold more than 10 million copies since its release in 1967. A hologram of Cline, which will perform concerts, is in the works, and a museum dedicated to Cline now exists in Music City.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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