Legendary Artist Manager Mary Martin Dead at 85

Instagram/Country Music Hall of Fame

Mary Martin, a veteran artist manager, passed away on July 4th at the age of 85. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum confirmed her death through a social media post.

Martin had a significant impact on the music industry, helping launch many well-known artists’ careers. For example, she persuaded Keith Urban to relocate from Australia to Nashville, a decision that significantly contributed to his rise to fame. Martin also played a pivotal role in the early careers of Emmylou Harris, Clint Black, Lorrie Morgan, and others. As an artist manager, she worked closely with talents like Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, guiding their paths to success.

“Time and again, Mary Martin spotted great talents and elevated their careers,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Early on, she connected Bob Dylan to her friends the Hawks, who became the Band. She managed Leonard Cohen in his first musical outings, then guided the budding solo careers of Van Morrison, Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill. At Warner Bros., she signed future Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris, at RCA she helped sign and develop Clint Black and Lorrie Morgan, and she encouraged a young Keith Urban to move from Australia to Nashville. Mary’s unerring feel for songs and performers was legendary, and she was a fierce ally for the artists she represented.”

Martin was born in 1939 in Toronto, Canada, later relocating to New York in 1962 to start her career as an executive assistant to Albert Grossman, as per Music Row. She eventually moved to Nashville in 1985 and became Vice President of RCA Records. One of her many accomplishments was winning a Grammy in 2002 for her work on the Hank Williams tribute album Timeless, which featured artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards, and Tom Petty.

At this time, the official cause of Mary Martin’s death has not been disclosed, and details regarding her memorial service are yet to be announced.