K.T. Oslin surprised almost everyone when she became a Country Music sensation in her 40s with the career-defining 1987 hit, “80’s Ladies.” But for mature Country listeners who recognized their own lives in her lyrics, it was clear that she arrived right on time. Born in Arkansas, Oslin grew up in Houston and eventually moved to New York City. Although she landed a dancing role on Broadway and toured colleges as a solo performer, Oslin felt drawn to songwriting. Gradually making inroads in Nashville, she placed songs with Dottie West and Gil Davies before landing a last-chance contract with RCA Records.
At 44 years old, Oslin released “80’s Ladies” to critical acclaim. Although it peaked at No. 7 at Country radio, her recording won a GRAMMY and prompted her to be named the 1987 ACM New Female Vocalist. Known for telling stories in her innovative, cinematic videos, Oslin also picked up an ACM Award for the “80’s Ladies” music video. Her other beloved originals include “Do Ya’,” “I’ll Always Come Back,” and “Old Pictures,” the latter recorded by the Judds.
A year later, Oslin collected 1988 ACM trophies for Top Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for This Woman. She also won two GRAMMYs for the bittersweet ballad, “Hold Me.” Before bowing out of the spotlight in the early 1990s, she placed “Come Next Monday” at the top of the Country chart for two weeks. A 2018 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Oslin passed away in 2020.