Grammy Award winning singer and cutting horse enthusiast Lynn Anderson died July 30, following a heart attack.
Anderson, whose signature song, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” became one of the biggest selling country cross-over hits of all time, recorded a dozen chart-topping records. She received awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and was named Billboard’s Female Artist of the Decade (1970-80). In 1974, she was the first female country artist to headline and sell out Madison Square Gardens.
The daughter of country songwriters Casey and Liz Anderson, she was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and raised in Fair Oaks, California. She had her first success in the horse show arena in California as a youngster, eventually winning 700 trophies, and being named California Horse Show Queen in 1966. She won 16 national and eight world championships, along with several celebrity titles.
She was a popular—and successful—supporter of the Careity Foundation’s Celebrity Cutting at the NCHA Futurity.
Anderson raised horses at her ranch in New Mexico and worked with Special Riders of Animaland, a horseback riding therapy program for children.
Her Quarter Horses Lady Phase and Skipsters Chief were produced as plastic models by Breyer Animal Creations. Skipsters Chief was also the poster horse for the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.
Lynn Anderson made television appearances with such stars as Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, John Wayne and Tom Jones and she performed for presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan.
She is survived by her father, her partner Mentor Williams and her children, Lisa Sutton, Melissa Hempel and Gray Stream.