The singer, TV and radio host died of cancer on Thursday
Credit: Jason Davis/Getty

Country music singer and member of the Grand Ole Opry Jim Ed Brown died Thursday. He was 81.

The singer and TV and radio host, who first found fame with two of his sisters in the 1950s as a member of The Browns, died of cancer at a Franklin, Tennessee, hospital, the Grand Ole Opry said in a press release.

Brown revealed he had lung cancer last September but announced he was in remission in January.

Last week his daughter Kim posted a message on his Facebook page asking fans to keep him in in their thoughts and prayers as his cancer had returned and he was undergoing chemotherapy.

Brown, who had a solo career in the 1960s before teaming up with Helen Cornelius in the ’70s on hits including “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You,” also hosted a country music TV show in the ’80s called You Can Be a Star.

The Arkansas native also sang regularly on the Grand Ole Opry radio show, beginning in 1963, and hosted the Country Music Greats Radio Show for more than a decade.

“Our hearts are heavy tonight as we say goodbye to an important part of our #Opry family,” the Grand Ole Opry Tweeted Thursday. “Jim Ed Brown will be missed.”

“While we will miss his kind heart and gentle nature, we will remember and celebrate one of music’s smoothest and most beloved voices ever,” said Pete Fisher, the Opry’s vice president and general manager.

Reba McEntyre also posted a pic on Instagram, writing, “Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jim Ed Brown.

In March, Brown and his sisters were named the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Receiving this honor with my sisters, Maxine and Bonnie, is something I had dreamed about for years, but never knew if it would happen or not,” he said at the time. “Fame is fleeting, hit records change every week, award show winners and nominees change every year, but being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame will be forever!”