Leadership

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Classy and sophisticated, yet strong-willed and determined, Grand Ole Opry member Ms Jan Howard has maintained a distinguished career in country music encompassing longevity, respect, and admiration. Born in West Plains, Missouri, Jan’s humble roots include attending a one-room schoolhouse wearing homemade, feed sack clothes. Married at 15, Jan had three sons before turning 21. After two troubled marriages, a chance meeting in California with aspiring songwriter Harlan Howard led to their marriage.

Jan scored her first major solo hit with “The One You Slip Around With” in 1960, the same year she moved to Nashville and made her first Opry appearances. She charted over 25 additional hits including “Evil On Your Mind”, ranked among Country Music’s 500 Greatest Singles. Add to that, dozens of albums by artists like Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, and Connie Smith which contain backing vocals by Jan. She has toured every state and 21 foreign countries.

Her honors include BMI songwriting awards, Billboard and Cashbox awards, Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame induction, and dedication of the “Jan Howard Expressway” in Missouri. In 2005 Jan was named R.O.P.E.’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, and in 2009 she received the first Ozarks Heritage Award for countless contributions to the music industry and her community. She released a candid, compelling and bestselling autobiography titled Sunshine and Shadow which describes personal heartaches and tragedies including the death of her son Jimmy in Vietnam and the suicide of her son David. Her surviving son Carter served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. Jan has been a frequent contributor to charity events that have benefited groups like Special Olympics, Children’s Diabetes, Children’s Transplant Program, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, Shriners, tornado victims, law enforcement officers, soldiers, and veterans.

Jan’s efforts on behalf of veteran organizations have resulted in many accolades including Tennessee Adjutant General’s “Distinguished Patriot Medal”, the highest honor a civilian can receive, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars “Gold Medal of Merit Award”. Jan has softened the edges of tragedy with her strong faith in God, and the belief that He has a reason for everything and will provide her strength to cope. “Every day is a gift!”

Rising from humble beginnings, Jan Howard has soared like an eagle overcoming the challenges life brings, while inspiring others and remaining a true friend of the American soldier. Her website can be viewed at www.JanHoward.com.

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