Country's Bonnie Owens dead at 76

April 25, 2006 at 4:50 PM
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif., April 25 (UPI) -- Country singer Bonnie Owens died Monday in Bakersfield, Calif., 30 days after the death of her first husband, county superstar Buck Owens.

Owens, 76, also married country icon Merle Haggard and served as a bridesmaid when he remarried days after their divorce. She suffered from Alzheimer's disease and had been under hospice care for some time, the Bakersfield (Calif.) Californian reported Tuesday.

Owens wed her first husband in 1948 and the couple had two sons, Buddy and Michael Owens, who buried their father on April 2. The Owens remained married for more than 10 years, but mostly because they could not afford to get a divorce, the newspaper said.

She met Haggard on Herb Henson's "Trading Post" TV show in the early 1960s and they recorded the 1964 hit, "Just Between the Two of Us." They married in 1964 and divorced a decade later.

Owens remained friends with both her ex-spouses and sang with their bands, the Californian said. She married her third husband, Fred McMillan, in the early 1980s.

Among her many awards were the Academy of Country Music's top female vocalist in 1965. She shared the award for the ACM's best vocal group in 1965 and 1966. In 1967, she and Haggard were named the ACM's best duo.

A memorial service was scheduled Thursday at Greenlawn Mortuary Southwest in Bakersfield.

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