Dawn Sears, Vocalist for the Time Jumpers, Dead of Cancer at 53

Singer Was Also a Longtime Member of Vince Gill’s Touring Band

Dawn Sears, an acclaimed backup vocalist and member of Rounder Records’ four-time Grammy-nominated band the Time Jumpers, died Thursday night (Dec. 11) at the age of 53.

Diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2012, Sears not only fought the disease personally but also championed efforts to combat it through research and awareness.

Although greatly debilitated by cancer at the time, Sears nonetheless attended the Nov. 30 fundraising concert held in her name in Gallatin, Tennessee, that featured performances by Reba McEntire, the Time Jumpers and Riders in the Sky. The event brought in more than $100,000 for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Sears was born in Grand Forks, Minnesota, and recorded as a solo act in the mid-1990s for Decca Records, where she charted the single “Runaway Train.”

In addition to her tenure in the Time Jumpers, Sears was also a long-time member of Vince Gill’s touring band.

She is survived by her husband, the fiddler and fellow Time Jumper Kenny Sears, and daughter Tess. Funeral arrangements are pending.