Norah Lee Allen, wife of Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen, dead at 76

Norah Lee Allen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Norah Lee Allen, the wife of Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen, died Sunday. She was 76.

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According to a news release posted by Duane Allen and also carried on the band’s website, Norah Lee Allen died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, after battling an illness for an extended period. She had been hospitalized for the past nine weeks.

“This morning, my wife of 54 years and 8 months took her last breath of air on planet Earth,” Duane Allen, 80, wrote on Sunday. “Norah Lee went to be with Jesus at 7:28 a.m., Easter morning. She had not been feeling well for some time.

“Her family all spent the night with her last night at Vanderbilt Hospital. We took time singing with and to her, telling her stories, and loving her every second that God let us share her here on Earth.”

Norah Lee Allen had been a longtime backup singer with the band, AL.com reported. She sang with the group for more than four decades.

She grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and began singing with her sisters in The Stuart Sisters Trio, according to a news release. She graduated from Warren County High School in 1966.

Two years later she was hired by the Chuck Wagon Gang, a country gospel group.

She married Duane Allen on Sept. 22, 1969.

In 1975, Norah Lee Allen became a part-time member of the Oak Ridge Boys. She joined the group on a full-time basis in 1980, according to A Taste of Country’s website.

The band expressed its grief in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The sweetest soul that any of us have ever known,” the band wrote.

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