In Memoriam: Dawn Sears, 1961-2014

Dawn Sears

We at Country Universe are very saddened to hear that Dawn Sears passed away yesterday at age 53 after a battle with lung cancer. She is survived by her husband Kenny Sears and their daughter Tess.

Born in East Grand Forks, Missouri in 1961, Sears began her country music career as a solo recording artist on Warner Bros. Records in the early nineties. Her debut album went sadly ignored by the country music mainstream, and she at first decided to leave the industry as a result. That changed when she got a call from Vince Gill inviting her to join his road band as a harmony vocalist, which led to her appearing on several of his albums as well. She is perhaps best known for her work as a vocalist for traditional country and Western swing ensemble The Time Jumpers, her husband Kenny also being a member, with whom she recorded two albums and received two Grammy nominations.

We offer our sincere condolences to Sears’ family, friends and bandmates. She will be deeply missed.


  1. She did a solid, staunchly traditional sounding country song with Tracy Byrd called “Out of Control Raging Fire” on his debut album in 1993. Had the song been released in the 1980’s it would have no doubt been a single and a very solid one at that. In the 1990’s it ended up being a strong album cut though. I can’t say I know any of Sears material (if there is any more out there) besides that song and her work with the Time Jumpers. RIP Dawn Sears.

  2. Rest in peace, Dawn Sears. I had a chance to see her with Vince Gill in 2005 and 2010. She was a fantastic vocalist and effortlessly sang Reba parts, not to mention adding to Vince’s background vocals, in both shows. It’s bitter-sweet that she was able to be alive for the fundraiser to benefit cancer research that she put together that took place just two weeks ago, which raised over $100,000.

  3. Just want to add a little shout-out to her lesser-known nineties work.
    Her song sense was solid. She cut “Planet of Love” before Mandy Barnett, “Tell Me I’m Crazy” before Shelby Lynne, and “He’s in Dallas” before Reba McEntire.

    Her vocals were incredible. I’m happy that she found her niche and more people got to enjoy her talent before her untimely passing.

  4. …i always enjoyed dawn sears’ records. last year, on the occasion of the country night gstaad 2013 (switzerland), the time jumpers played an unforgettable gig that night.

    i’ll never forget her spontaneous and hopeful hug after i had told her before the official press event that whatever the night would bring, to me her coming to switzerland in relatively good shape and fine spirit was already making my day.

    whoever had the pleasure to hear her beautiful vocals adding one more remarkable element to the already enormously gifted time jumpers will not forget that wonderful singer and warm person.

    sweet memories will remain and i offer my sincere condolences to the sears family and the time jumpers.

    rip dawn sears

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