The Browns’ Bonnie Brown Reveals She Has Lung Cancer

Same Disease Killed Her Brother, Jim Ed, In June

Bonnie Brown, the youngest member of the Browns brother-sisters vocal trio, has announced that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The announcement came at a luncheon held in Nashville Monday (Sept. 28) to celebrate the Browns’ impending induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Browns Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Brown’s brother, Grand Ole Opry star Jim Ed Brown, died of the same disease in June shortly after he learned that the Browns — along with the Oak Ridge Boys and guitarist Grady Martin — had been selected for the Hall of Fame.

Bonnie (right front), Jim Ed and Maxine Brown, the Oak Ridge Boys (back) Alan Poizner/CMA

One of the most popular acts in country music throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s, The Browns — Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie — are best known for their recording of “The Three Bells,” which topped both the country and pop charts in 1959. Following the trio’s breakup in 1968, Jim Ed went on to a distinguished solo career, as well as scoring a series of duet hits with Helen Cornelius.

“It comes with great sadness that I have been diagnosed with Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Right lung cancer,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “I have recently undergone tests to determine the best type of treatment for this horrible disease. This news came as a shock to our family as we are still mourning the loss of my big brother, Jim Ed, who passed away from the same cancer in June. As Jim Ed said at the announcement of our induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year, ‘Cancer is no fun,’ and I agree.

“I have full faith in my oncologist and the many specialists at CARTI in Little Rock, [Arkansas,] and I trust in them to determine the best path to my full recovery. I am surrounded by the love and support of my family and I am determined to live many more years. Prayers and good wishes are always welcome. Should anyone want to send a ‘get well’ card, please mail to: P.O. Box 233, Dardanelle, Arkansas, 72834-0233.”