Patty Loveless Shares Selfless Reason She Stepped Away From The Spotlight
Patty Loveless is back in the spotlight more than 10 years after retiring from touring. But, the “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” singer had a good reason for stepping back and she opened up about it in a recent interview.
Patty Loveless was a force to be reckoned with in the late ’80s and ’90s. The Kentucky-born singer with a pure and haunting voice built an impressive country music resume that included four platinum albums, 44 Top 10 Billboard Hot Country Singles (five that hit No. 1), 19 CMA Awards nominations with five wins, 19 ACM Awards nominations that included two Top Female Vocalist wins, 13 Grammy Award nominations with two wins, a Grand Ole Opry membership and an upcoming induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Patty Loveless mostly retired from touring, only making occasional guest appearances on other artists’ albums. Patty, 66, recently told Woman’s World that that she’s spent the last 14 years taking care of her husband, Emory Gordy Jr., as he faced health issues.
Patty Loveless and Emory Gordy Jr.’s Love Story
Patty and Emory married in 1989 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, after meeting in an elevator at MCA Records a few years prior. Patty’s career was just taking off and Gordy Jr. was a renowned bass player and record producer who has played with Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris, John Denver and Neil Diamond. The couple kept their nuptials a secret for a year-and-a-half while Patty established herself as an artist.
The couple, who relocated to Georgia from Nashville in 2001, shared that the secret to their long marriage was knowing how to separate work life from home life.
“We’d come home, and I’d fix dinner, and then I would try to bring up a conversation on what was going on with the label that day, with management, whatever. He’d say, ‘Excuse me, my office is closed.’ And I’d look at him and go, ‘Oh, okay, got it,'” Patty said of her husband, her sole record producer. “But that’s us. It’s the same for me: If he goes on and on [about] something, I’m going, ‘Honey, my office is closed, sorry.'”
Patty Loveless Opens Up About Being Her Husband’s Caretaker
Speaking to Woman’s Day in August 2023, Patty Loveless shared that she has treasured the time she’s had taking care of her husband. While she didn’t go into detail about his health struggles, it’s clear that she considers is a blessing to be able to take care of him.
“There have been a couple of times that I thought I was going to lose Emory and I’m so thankful that he’s still here with me. I find pleasure in being with him because I traveled so much over the years and a lot of people think because we were married, we were together, but we weren’t together as much as I wanted to be. We always made sure we had the holidays off together, but there was a time I would go 20-30 days without seeing him when I was out on the road.”
As much as she and Emory have enjoyed their time together on their rural Georgia farm, Patty says that being a caregiver can be tough.
“If you feel like there’s a special thing you want to have done, go get yourself pampered. Try to spend time with friends and enjoy yourself. It’s good to get away because being a caregiver, it does weigh on you after a while and you just have to give yourself a break from time to time. When you are caring for others, you need some quiet time to find the strength within yourself,” Patty said.
Patty Loveless’s Return To The Stage
One thing is certain…Patty Loveless’s time off hasn’t affected her voice. Chris Stapleton surprised the crowd at the Kentucky Rising flood relief concert in 2022 for a rare live performance. The two teamed up for Patty’s 1994 hit “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am” followed by “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” a song Loveless recorded for her bluegrass album, Mountain Soul, in 2001.
Loveless’s unexpected live performance reminded fans that country music has missed her soulfulness and authenticity. Due to fan response to the collaboration between Patty and Chris Stapleton, the pair teamed up again for a duet at the 2022 CMA Awards. The two once again performed “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,”
The performances introduced a new generation to Patty Loveless’s music and served as a stark reminder of how country music has changed. In April, it was announced that Patty Loveless would be joining the Country Music Hall of Fame, the ultimate achievement for any artist.
In conjunction with her upcoming official Hall of Fame induction, Patty Loveless was on hand for the reveal of her Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit, Patty Loveless: No Trouble With the Truth on Tuesday, August 22. The exhibit will run from Wednesday, August 23, through October 24.
See one of our favorite Patty Loveless performances from yesteryear in the video below.