Country singer Lari White passed away Tuesday (Jan. 23) after fighting a rare and aggressive form of peritoneal cancer. Lari was 52 years old
Lari revealed her diagnosis in November of 2017 in a post to the ArtistsBlog website. She later began a Caring Bridge page, allowing her to update her condition to friends, family and fans. On Jan. 19 Lari’s mother posted the news that her daughter had entered hospice to continue her journey through cancer.
“This Mother’s Heart is broken tonight for the horrendous illness that attacked our amazing daughter so viciously and quickly, as we know yours is, too,” her mom wrote in the post. ” But tonight this Mother’s Heart is also filled with an abundance of love and comfort…and Peace that She has so much love surrounding her, and for the gentle, competent Care of Hospice.”
Lari first gained attention in 1988 when she won the television competition show, “You Can Be a Star, on TNN (The Nashville Network), where she received a record deal with Capitol Records. With little success on Capitol, after releasing only one single, Lari later signed a record deal with RCA Records. She released her debut album, Lead Me Not, in 1993. But it was her follow up album, Wishes, that launched the singer into stardom with three consecutive hit singles, “That’s My Baby,” “Now I Know” and “That’s How You Know (You’re In Love).”
The Florida native recorded a final album for RCA, and later signed a third record deal with Lyric Street Records where she became the flagship artist, releasing her fourth studio album, Stepping Stone, in 1998. After taking time away from music to raise her family with husband Chuck Cannon—the couple has three children, daughters, M’Kenzy and Kyra Ciel and a son, Jaxon— Lari started her own record label, Skinny White Girl Records, which saw the release of her fifth studio album, Green Eyed Soul.
Around that time, Lari made the move into producing by co-producing several tracks on Billy Dean’s 2004 album Let Them Be Little, and Toby Keith’s 2005 album White Trash with Money, becoming the first woman to produce a male superstars album.
Lari won 3 Grammy awards, two in 1996 and 1998 for each of the Amazing Grace compilation albums and a third for producing the soundtrack to the movie “The Apostle,” starring Robert Duvall and Farrah Fawcett. She also appeared in feature films, including Tom Hanks’ “Castaway” and Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Country Strong,” and performed on Broadway, while continuing to produce and write songs.
In Feb. 2017, Lari marked her 25th Anniversary in the music business by releasing a double EP called Old Friends, New Loves—a compilation of songs, new and old, from her 25-year career.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends to help with the cost of medical expenses. As of this post, the fund has raised $94,000 of its $100,000 goal, thanks to friends, family and supporters of the angelic singer.