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Patti Page, ‘Tennessee Waltz’ Singer Who Dominated the 1950s, Dies at 85

John Franks, Getty Images

Patti Page, the biggest-selling female singer of the 1950s who sold more than 100 million records while singing in multiple genres, died Wednesday at the age of 85.

Page had three albums reach No. 1 on the charts and perhaps is most famous for singing “Tennessee Waltz,” one of the most successful music recordings in history that is even used by the state as one of its signature songs.

“I was a kid from Oklahoma who never wanted to be a singer, but was told I could sing,” she said in a 1999 interview. “And things snowballed.”

“Tennessee Waltz” spent 30 weeks on the charts, with three months spent in the top 10. It was outsold only by Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”

Page was popular in both country and popular music and won her first Grammy Award in 1999 after 51 years in the industry. She was scheduled to receive a lifetime achievement award from The Recording Academy in February.

She was born Nov. 8, 1927, in Claremore, Okla.

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