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Honky-Tonk Yodeler Jean Shepard Dies

Jean Shepard, a mainstay of the Grand Ole Opry whose feisty honky-tonk songs of the 1950s and '60s paved the way for the brash, assertive style of singers like Loretta Lynn, died on Sunday in Gallatin, Tennesee. She was 82. The cause was complications of Parkinson's and heart disease. Shepard, who grew up on the country blues of Jimmie Rodgers and the western swing of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, brought a freewheeling, cheeky style to the eternal themes of heartache, cheating and marital discord, planting the flag for independent women.
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