Crystal Gayle (born Brenda Gail Webb; January 9, 1951) is an American country music singer. Best known for her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, she had 20 number-one country hits during the 1970s and 1980s (18 on Billboard and 2 on Cashbox) and six albums certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Gayle became the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales, with her 1977 album We Must Believe in Magic.
Also noted for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister of the country singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn and the singer Peggy Sue and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless.
Gayle has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, near Lynn’s star.
- Name: Brenda Gail Webb
- Birth Date: January 9, 1951
- Instruments: Vocals, piano, guitar
- Pace of Birth: Paintsville, Kentucky
- Occupation: Singer | Actress | Songwriter
- Years Active: 1970–Present
Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb on January 9, 1951, in Paintsville, Kentucky, to Clara Marie “Clary” (née Ramey; May 5, 1912 – November 24, 1981) and Melvin Theodore “Ted” Webb (October 24, 1906 – February 23, 1959), a coal miner.
She was the youngest in the poor coal mining family of ten. She was also the only one of the eight children to be born in a hospital.
Her older siblings are:
- Melvin Webb (December 4, 1929 – July 1, 1993)
- Loretta Lynn (née Webb; April 14, 1932)
- Herman Webb (September 3, 1934)
- Jay Lee (born Willie Lee Webb; February 12, 1936 – July 31, 1996)
- Donald Ray Webb (April 2, 1941)
- Peggy Sue Wright (née Webb; March 24, 1943)
- Betty Ruth Webb (January 5, 1946)
Webb’s family moved north to Wabash, Indiana, when she was four. Four years later, her father died of black lung disease. Though a shy child, Brenda would sing along with country and pop songs on the radio, and she was encouraged by her mother to sing for visitors to their house.
Inspired by the success of her sister Loretta Lynn, she learned to play the guitar and sing backup in her brothers’ folk band. While still in high school, she began to tour with her sister for a few weeks each summer. After graduating from Wabash High School in 1970, Brenda signed with Decca Records, her sister’s label. However, since there was already a singer named Brenda Lee with Decca Records, she was asked to change her first name.
Loretta Lynn suggested the name “Crystal” after seeing a sign for the Krystal hamburger restaurant chain. Brenda Gail Webb thus became Crystal Gayle. In 1971 she married Bill Gatzimos, her high-school sweetheart; they have two children and a grandson.
For more information visit www.crystalgayle.com
ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
- Top New Female Vocalist (1975)
- Top Female Vocalist (1976)
- Top Female Vocalist (1977)
- Top Female Vocalist (1979)
- Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award (2016)
- AMERICAN ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE Best Female Entertainer (2007)
AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
- Favorite Female Country Artist (1979)
- Favorite Female Country Artist (1980)
- Favorite Female Country Artist (1986)
- Favorite Female Video Artist (1986)
- CHEROKEE MEDAL OF HONOR Awarded In Tahlequah, Oklahoma (2000)
COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS
- Female Vocalist Of The Year (1977)
- Female Vocalist Of The Year (1978)
- CRYSTAL GAYLE DAY October 2, 2009 – Hollywood, California
- Best Female Country Vocal Performance (1978) – “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”
- GRAND OLE OPRY Member of Grand Ole Opry (Inducted January 21, 2017)
- HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME Star # 2390 Awarded (2007) – Unveiled (2009)
- INDIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY Indiana Living Legend Award (2005)
- KENTUCKY MUSIC HALL OF FAME Inducted (2008)
- MUSIC CITY NEWS Most Promising Female Artist Of The Year (1975)
- NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME Inducted (2001)
- PEOPLE MAGAZINE The 50 Most Beautiful People In The World (1983)