MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Gospel singer-songwriter Joyce "Dottie" Rambo died early Sunday when the bus she was in ran off a road in southwest Missouri and struck an embankment.
Rambo, 74, of Nashville, Tenn., died in the crash about two miles east of Mount Vernon on Interstate 44, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Seven other people in the bus were injured, and were hospitalized in Springfield with moderate to severe injuries, the patrol said.
It was unclear if the accident, which occurred about 2 a.m., was weather-related, the patrol said. Severe storms and tornadoes hit the region about 6 p.m. Saturday, killing 14 people. Sustained winds and storms swept through the area later in the night, according to the National Weather Service.
"She was a giant in the gospel music industry," said Beckie Simmons, Rambo's agent. "Dolly Parton recorded some of her songs."
She was on her way to a Mother's Day performance in North Richland Hills, Texas, according to her Web site.
Rambo was inducted to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
Rambo has had more than 2,500 published songs, including gospel classics such as "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need" and the 1982 Gospel Music Association Song of the Year, "We Shall Behold Him."My heart is literally broken. Dottie wrote the songs that seemed to express so much about God and life and from the time I first heard her voice as a small boy, I fell in love with her. I never met her, never saw her perform, but this one person left a powerful impact on me as a child and as an adult. The world has lost a mighty woman, but Heaven has gained a beautiful angel. My prayers are with Dotties family. John