The Oak Ridge Boys were hit with heartbreaking news twice on Easter. Two beloved family members died on Sunday (March 31), including a face familiar to the band and fans throughout their entire career together.

  • The current Oak Ridge Boys lineup formed in 1973.
  • In 2015, they became members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Last September, they announced the American Made: Farewell Tour.

Lead singer Duane Allen's wife Norah Lee Allen died Sunday morning. She had been battling an illness for an extended period of time and was hospitalized at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville at the time.

Picture of the Oak Ridge Boys With Wives
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

"This morning, my wife of 54 years and 8 months took her last breath of air on planet Earth," Allen writes in a note to media.

Norah Lee Allen was an accomplished singer on her own. She became a full-time member of the Grand Ole Opry band in 1980, and as a background singer performed with dozens of legendary and contemporary country singers.

Picture of duane and norah lee allen
Courtesy of 2911 Media

The Allens married on Sept. 22, 1969, a few years after Duane joined the Oak Ridge Boys. It'd be several years before the group earned significant commercial success, and early on Norah Lee was a popular session vocalist for artists like Conway Twitty.

The couple have two children together (Jamie and Dee) and four grandchildren.

"Jamie, Dee and I would like to thank you all for your love and prayers," Duane Allen writes. "We have been at her bedside for over nine weeks."

Charles Esten and Travis Tritt were among the well-wishers who responded to the singer's news on social media.

A Second Oak Ridge Boys Family Death

The second bit of sad news for the Oak Ridge Boys was announced just a few hours after Norah Lee Allen's death: Richard Sterban's wife Donna lost her father on Sunday.

The couple have been married since 1988 and have five children together.

"Prayers for her family at this time of loss," a note on the group's Twitter/X platform reads. "Quite a memorable Easter this year ... the good news is the promise of eternity with Jesus who conquered death that we may live."

No details about Donna Sterban's father have been revealed.

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