Maxine Brown Russell, of Hall of Fame Country Trio the Browns, Dead at 87
Maxine Brown Russell, country singer and one-third of the Country Music Hall of Fame trio the Browns, died on Monday (Jan. 21) at Bowman Hospice in Little Rock, Ark., as a result of complications from heart and kidney disease. She was 87 years old and died with family by her side.
Russell was born on April 21, 1931, in Campti, La. Together with her siblings, Jim Ed and Bonnie, she formed the Browns in 1955. The group rose to fame over the following decades, releasing hits such as "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On," "The Old Lamplighter" and "Three Bells." The group toured internationally, including stints in Japan and the UK, and Russell was always known as the "cut up" of the trio, according to a press release.
The Browns were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1963, and disbanded in 1967, when Jim Ed Brown embarked upon a solo career. However, the group's legacy and recognition continued, earning the the Browns a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Russell is preceded in death by both of the other members of the trio. Bonnie Brown died in 2016, at the age of 77, after a battle with lung cancer. The year before, in 2015, Jim Ed Brown died at 81, also of lung cancer.
"Maxine Brown's voice joined in harmony with her brother Jim Ed and sister Bonnie to create the smoothest vocal blend in country music history," Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young commented in response to Russell's passing. "Offstage, Maxine was an absolute delight. She was reverent about things worth revering, and riotously irreverent about every other thing. In song and conversation, Maxine Brown made people smile. The world is a duller place without her."
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