Actor and country singer/songwriter Lari White has died of peritoneal cancer at 52.
White was most famous for her music, and wrote six Top 20 country hits over the course of her career, including “That’s My Baby”, and “That’s How You Know (When You’re in Love)”. According to a post her mother Yvonne made on the family’s website, White passed away early on the morning of January 23rd, surrounded by her husband, her parents, and her three children.
White started singing from a young age, accompanying her parents in gospel songs by age 4. She attended University of Miami Frost School of Music for voice, before starting a career singing at clubs across America. She wasn’t initially a country singer, but when she started listening to country, she was captivated. “When I heard these records coming out of Nashville – Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang – I was like, “I’m going to Nashville,”” she told Rolling Stone in a 2015 interview.
In 1988, the year she first moved to Nashville, she won the Nashville Network’s “You Can Be a Star” talent competition. Part of the reward was studio time, which allowed her to produce her first single, “Flying Above the Rain.” Her first album, “Lead Me Not,” was released in 1993, to acclaim and modest fame. But it was her second album, the 1994 “Wishes,” that made her a breakout star. Three singles from the album – “That’s My Baby”, “That’s How You Know (When You’re in Love)” and “Now I Know” – became Top 10 country hits.
In the following years, White continued to make music, releasing seven albums and two EPs. She started her own label, Skinny White Girl, and became the first woman to produce a male country star’s album with the release of Toby Keith’s “White Trash with Money”. Apart from her musical career, she also had several acting roles, including parts in the Tom Hanks picture “Cast Away,” the 2010 hit “Country Strong,” and the Johnny Cash biography musical “Ring of Fire.”
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