Bonnie Brown (musician)

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Bonnie Brown
Birth nameBonnie Jean Brown
Also known asBonnie Brown Ring
Born(1938-07-31)July 31, 1938
Sparkman, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedJuly 16, 2016(2016-07-16) (aged 77)
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Years active1955–1967
LabelsRCA Victor
Associated actsJim Ed Brown, Maxine Brown

Bonnie Jean Brown (July 31, 1938 – July 16, 2016) was an American country music singer and member of the Browns, a trio popular in the 1950s.[1]


Bonnie Jean Brown was born on July 31, 1938, in Sparkman, Arkansas, to Floyd Iron Brown and Birdie Lee Tuberville Brown.[2] Her parents owned a farm, and her father also worked at a saw mill. While still a child, the family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In 1955, at age 18, she joined her older siblings Maxine and Jim Ed Brown, who were already performing as a duo, to form the musical trio the Browns.[3] Signed by RCA Victor in 1956, the trio scored their biggest hit when their folk-pop single "The Three Bells" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop and country charts. The single held the No. 1 spot on the pop charts for 4 weeks, and on the country charts for ten.[3]

After she married Dr. Gene Ring in 1960, she was known as Bonnie Brown Ring.[2]

In 1965, the Browns joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, and disbanded in 1967 after Bonnie had decided to retire from the music business.[4][2]

Unlike her siblings, Bonnie did not pursue a solo music career after the Browns dissolved, though the trio did reunite twice: in the 1980s, and in 2006 for a TV special Country Pop Legends.[5]

In 2015, the trio was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.[3] Bonnie's brother, Jim Ed Brown, died of cancer on June 11, 2015.


On September 28, 2015, Bonnie Brown announced that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma right lung cancer.[6] Brown died of the illness on July 16, 2016, fifteen days before her 78th birthday.[7] She was survived by her sister Maxine Brown; and by daughter Kelly Ring, former co-anchor of the evening news at WTVT-TV in Tampa, Florida.[8]


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Country Music (Second ed.). p. 55. ISBN 978-0195395631. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Bonnie Brown Ring". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Freeman, Jon (July 16, 2016). "Country Music Hall of Fame Member Bonnie Brown Dead at 77". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  4. ^ Brennan, Sandra & Manheim, James. "The Browns Biography". Country Music Television, Inc. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  5. ^ The Associated Press (2016-07-17). "Bonnie Brown, Part of Sibling Country Trio, Dies at 77". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  6. ^ "U.S. Country singer Bonnie Brown, hall of fame inductee, has cancer - Reuters". Tim Ghianni.
  7. ^ "Country Music Hall of Famer Bonnie Brown dead at 77". 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  8. ^ "Kelly Ring". KTVT-TV -

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