Earl Thomas Conley, ’80’s Hitmaker, Dies at 77

One of country music’s top hitmakers from the early and mid-1980’s passed away on Wednesday, April 10th. Singer and songwriter Earl Thomas Conley is known for singles like “Holding Her (And Loving You),” “Fire and Smoke” and “I Can’t Win for Losin’ You.”

Blake Shelton expressed how heartbroken he is in a Twitter post by saying, “My heart is absolutely destroyed today. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest.” Shelton idolized Conley and was very close to him.


Earl Thomas Conley relocated to Nashville in 1973 where he began to grow and succeed as a songwriter. He co-wrote “Smokey Mountain Memories,” a Top 20 single for Mel Street in 1975. However he really took off in 1976 when Conway Twitty took his “This Time I’ve Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me” to No. 1. He continued to progress and co-write many hits into the late 1980’s.

Conley’s health began to fail him the last years of his life but made an appearance at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame banquet in 2017 to sing his 1983 hit, “Holding Her and Loving You” to honor Walt Aldridge, who was being inducted into the Hall that year.

NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 23: Earl Thomas Conley performs “Holding Her And Loving You.”2017 Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Awards at Music City Center on October 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)


Our love and prayers are with his family and everyone who was touched by him.


Featured Image: (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)