Jiimy Dean Dies

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74260557 Jiimy Dean Dies

Country music legend [lastfm]Jimmy Dean[/lastfm], who sang the country crossover hit “Big Bad John” and later became known for his sausage brand, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 81.

Dean died Sunday at his home on his 200-acre estate near Richmond, Va., wife Donna Meade Dean told the AP. Though he had health problems, she said his death came as a shock because he was still functioning well. She said Dean was eating in front of the television and she found him unresponsive when she returned in to the room.

A Texas native, Dean, who dropped out of school after ninth grade, experienced great success in the entertainment industry in the 1950s and ’60s, including his nationally televised The Jimmy Dean Show.

Dean, who fronted his Texas Wildcats band, had his first national hit in the early 1950s, “Bummin’ Around” and earned a Grammy for “Big Bad John” in 1961. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year and was to be inducted in October.

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