Roberta Lee Streeter (born July 27, 1944), professionally known as Bobbie Gentry, is a former American singer-songwriter notable as one of the first female country artists to write and produce her own material. Her songs typically drew on her Mississippi roots to compose vignettes of the Southern United States.
Gentry shot to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative "Ode to Billie Joe" in 1967. The track was fourth in the Billboard year-end chart of 1967 and earned her Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968. Gentry charted eleven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and four singles on the United Kingdom Top 40. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. After her first albums, she turned towards variety shows. After a successful run on the Las Vegas Strip in the late 1970s, she lost interest in performing and has since lived privately in Los Angeles.
Gentry was born Roberta Streeter and is of English and Portuguese ancestry. She was born in Chickasaw County, Mississippi to Robert and Ruby (Bullington) Streeter. She has an older brother, Robert Streeter, Jr. Her parents divorced shortly after her birth, and her mother moved to California. She was raised on her grandparents' farm in Chickasaw County. Her grandmother traded one of the family's milk cows for a neighbor's piano, and seven-year-old Bobbie composed her first song, "My Dog Sergeant Is a Good Dog". She attended school in Greenwood, Mississippi, and began teaching herself to play the guitar, bass, banjo, and vibes.