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Today's birthday, September 8

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016

Today's birthday, September 8: US country singer Patsy Cline (1932-1963).

In her short 30 years, Patsy Cline became one of the most influential female country music singers of all time.

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia; her mother was only 16 at the time of her birth.

She began singing at early age in church, and learnt to play the piano by ear.

When she was a teenager, Cline's father abandoned the family and she was forced to go out and work to support her mother and siblings.

Cline began her singing career by approaching a local radio station and volunteering to sing on their programs.

Her radio spots led to performances in clubs and local dances, where she was eventually spotted and signed to Four Star Records in 1954.

She released several songs with the label but the first few singles failed to make much of an impact on the music scene.

Cline's career hit a turning point in 1957 when she made a television appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in New York City.

She won the competition with her song Walkin' After Midnight and from there it hit the country and pop charts.

Cline's first marriage was to Gerald Cline in 1953 but they were divorced by 1957, when he tried to convince her to give up music and become a housewife.

She was married to Charlie Dick from 1957 until her death, and the pair had two children together, Julie and Randy.

In the early `60s Cline enjoyed the most lucrative period of her career with hit after hit.

Her song I Fall to Pieces hit the top of the country charts in 1961 and became a top 20 single on the pop charts, before Crazy became her top-charting song at number nine on the US Hot 100.

That same year, Cline survived a traumatic car crash where she was thrown through the windshield and almost killed.

Cline was the first female country music star to headline her own show, touring the US throughout 1962 to sell-out crowds.

She died on March 5, 1963, when the plane she was travelling on came down in bad weather in Camden, Tennessee, killing everyone on board.

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