- Category : Entertain-Music-Composer/Arranger
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 3
American country-western singer, composer and songwriter. She is known for "Would You Hold It Against Me" and "Paper Mansions" along with many famous duets with Kenny Rogers, Jim Reeves and other noted singers. Big-hearted and caring, she helped many new artists get ahead.
West first appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and within two years had become the first female country artist to win a Grammy for her single "Here Comes My Baby." Appearing regularly on the country charts she had such hits as "A Lesson in Leavin'," and "Country Sunshine," which she had originally written for a Coca-Cola commercial. At one time she was a duet partner with star turned singer John Schneider, the actor formerly on the TV show "Dukes of Hazzard." Her most successful partnership was with her friend Kenny Rogers and together they recorded such hits as "Every Time Two Fools Collide " and "What Are We Doin' in Love."
A redhead, West married and divorced three times. She married her guitar playing college sweetheart, Bill West in 1952 but 20 years later divorced him. An eight year marriage followed to drummer Byron Metcalf, 12 years her junior, and in 1982 she wed her road manager and sound engineer, Alan Winters, who was 22 years younger than she. They divorced in January 1990 and soon after filed for bankruptcy. In June 1990 she gave up her home in Brentwood, TN and auctioned off her possessions, including stage costumes, to pay off $2.5 million in debts and taxes to the government.
West has four kids: Morris, Kerry, Shelly and Dale. Daughter Shelly, also a country singer, teamed up with David Frizzel in 1980 to record "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma."
Around late June or early July 1991, she was hospitalized for several days after a traffic accident she had while exiting the driveway to her apartment complex. Then, on 8/31/l991, while being driven to perform at the Grand Ole Opry by a neighbor, George Thackston, 80, the car he was driving went out of control just before 8:00 P.M. on a Nashville parkway's elevated exit ramp. The car crashed nose down onto the roadway below. Doctors operated twice, removing her spleen and trying to repair her ruptured liver. She died during a third liver operation on 9/04/1991 when her heart failed due to massive blood loss.