Country singer Bonnie Brown, hall of fame inductee, has cancer

Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:39pm EDT
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By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Singer Bonnie Brown, who will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October as part of the group The Browns, announced on Monday that she has lung cancer.

"It comes with great sadness that I have been diagnosed with stage four adenocarcinoma right lung cancer," Brown said. "This news came as a shock to our family as we are still mourning the loss of my big brother."

Brown, her sister Maxine and brother Jim Ed Brown comprised the Browns singing group that had several hit songs in the 1950s and 1960s. Jim Ed Brown died of lung cancer in June at age 81.

Brown, 78, announced her cancer diagnosis during a luncheon at the hall of fame honoring the group that she attended with sister Maxine. Brown said she would begin treatment on Tuesday and predicted a full recovery.

"I am surrounded by the love and support of my family and I am determined to live many more years," Brown said in a statement released after her announcement.

The siblings were raised on a family farm in Arkansas, where every Saturday night they would gather around a battery-powered radio to listen to the Grand Ole Opry.

The Browns are known for "The Three Bells" and other hits such as "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" and "I Heard the Bluebird Sing." Recorded in 1959, "The Three Bells" held No. 1 on the Billboard country chart for 10 consecutive weeks and was a crossover pop hit.

The Browns were elected, along with the late, great session guitarist Grady Martin and The Oak Ridge Boys, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Oct. 25.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by David Bailey and Sandra Maler)