Dawn Sears, center © AP Dawn Sears, center The Time Jumpers star Dawn Sears has lost her battle with lung cancer at the age of 53.The country singer, a Minnesota native, passed away in Tennessee on Thursday night (11Dec14).
An in-demand vocalist and back-up singer, Sears worked with the likes of Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard and Tracy Byrd, while she also served as a longtime member of Vince Gill's touring band.
She enjoyed a solo career in the 1990s, with hits like Runaway Train, and, in 1998, formed The Time Jumpers group, which included her husband, fiddler Kenny Sears.
The Time Jumpers earned two Grammy Award nominations for their self-titled 2012 album.
Sears was diagnosed with cancer in early 2013 and subsequently used her fame to raise money for lung cancer research at Nashville's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
In October (14), she recruited her pal Reba McEntire to headline a benefit gig in the country music Mecca and put on a brave face as she performed with her band.
She told the audience, "It is my mission to bring more hope to those of us with lung cancer. I was diagnosed with lung cancer over a year ago and I now have a greater understanding of the daily battle and challenges that people with cancer of any kind face."
The concert raised more than $100,000 (£62,500) for the cause.