LOS ANGELES – US singer Patti Page, famous for songs including “The Tennessee Waltz” and the novelty hit “How much is that Doggie in the Window?”, has died, a spokesman said Wednesday. She was 85.
“Unfortunately she passed away last evening” in the southern California town of Encinitas, spokesman Michael Glynn told AFP, adding that she had been at the Seacrest Village retirement home there for a few months.
The singer had been sick for several years, and likely died of heart failure, he said, although the exact cause of death was not yet known.
Page, who sold over 100 million records during her career and won a Grammy Award in 1999, was born in Oklahoma in 1927 and signed with Mercury Records at the age of 21, after being discovered while performing in Tulsa.
The singer, whose real name was Clara Ann Fowler, had her first major hit “With My Eyes Wide Open I’m Dreaming” in 1950, followed by “The Tennessee Waltz” the following year.
“How much is that Doggie in the Window” shot to number one in 1952.
During her career, Page recorded 50 albums, with 19 gold and 14 platinum singles, and was the only musical performer in history to have her own series on all three major television networks, said a publicist’s statement.
Page learned last month that she was to get a lifetime achievement Grammy award – as was late Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who had a home in Encinitas, as well as in New Dehli.
Shankar died last month shortly after learning that he, too, was among seven artists due to receive lifetime achievement awards at the 2013 Grammys show on February 10.
Page “was looking forward to attending the invitation-only ceremony for the award” her publicist said. The Recording Academy, which organizes the Grammys, said she will be honored posthumously at the annual music industry showcase.
The singer wrote on her website in September that she was facing “severe medical challenges.”
“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,” she wrote. “It is only He who knows what the future holds.”
She is survived by a son, a daughter, as well as a sister, added the publicist’s statement.