Nashville, TN (CelebrityAccess) – Maxine Brown Russell, who performed with the country music trio The Browns before launching a brief solo career has died. She was 87.
A statement from her publicist said Brown died in a hospice in Little Rock from complications of heart and kidney disease.
Brown was born in Campti, Louisiana to Floyd and Birdie Brown and from an early age, she was encouraged to sing and perform at local live music venues.
In 1954, she and her younger brother Jim Ed Brown signed a recording deal with RCA Records and released their first hit “Looking Back to See” which Maxine wrote, and which cracked the top ten that year.
The Browns soon added their younger sister Bonnie Brown to fill out the soon-to-be-famous trio which scored multiple “million-sellers,” including “The Three Bells,” “The Old Lamplighter,” “Scarlet Ribbons,” and “Send Me The Pillow You Dream On.”
The group actively toured, not only the US but abroad as well, making several runs in the UK and Japan.
In 1963, The Browns joined The Grand Ole Opry in 1963 and appeared on hit television shows of the day, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Arthur Murray Show, The Perry Como Show, American Bandstand with Dick Clark, and The Jerry Lewis Show before the group disbanded in 1967.
After the dissolution of the group, Maxine went on to a brief solo career, releasing Brown had a brief solo career releasing a single and an album for Chart Records titled Sugar Cane County.
In 2012, Russell was awarded the Ella Dicky Literary Award for her 2005 autobiography, Looking Back To See. The Browns were also members of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, and in 2015, the group was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Brown was the final surviving member of The Browns, preceded in death by Jim Ed in 2015 and Bonnie in 2016.
She is survived by two children, Jimmy Russell (Mary) and Alicia Short (Curtis), six grandchildren (Caitlin, Daniel, Meredith, Eva, Patrick, and Katherine), and two great-grandchildren (Atlas and Aina).
Funeral services are being planned and will be announced soon.