Bobby Osborne, Kentucky Bluegrass Pioneer of the Osborne Brothers, Dies at 91
International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee, Grand Ole Opry member and celebrated mandolinist Bobby Osborne has died. He was 91 years old.
According to WYMT, members of Osborne's family confirmed his passing on Tuesday (June 27). In the 1950s, the Kentucky native and his sibling, Sonny, began performing as the Osborne Brothers. The pair became stars of the modern bluegrass scene in just a few years thanks to their plucky percussive instrumentation and flawlessly blended vocals.
The brothers' 1967 recording of "Rocky Top," written by the hit songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, has served as the unofficial sports anthem for the University of Tennessee for more than 50 years.
Together, the Osborne Brothers released 20+ albums, charted 18 singles on country radio, and earned countless accolades, including being the first bluegrass act asked to perform at the White House.
The pair continued to play shows together and individually until Sonny's death in Oct. 2021 at 83.
Several country and bluegrass artists are sharing tributes to Osborne on their social media pages, including the Oak Ridge Boys.
"We all loved Bobby ... He is back with Sonny again," the band shares.
Bobby Osborne's death comes just days after the passing of another influential bluegrass musician and fellow Opry member, Jesse McReynolds.