Ronnie Prophet, Country Music and Variety TV Star, Dies at 80

Ronnie Prophet 1980 Live in Rotterdam - One Time Use Only - Getty - H 2018
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Prophet hosted Canadian TV shows like 'The Ronnie Prophet Show' and 'Grand Ole Country,' while also performing in Nashville and Branson, Missouri.

Country music star Ronnie Prophet, a popular Canadian TV variety show host during the 1970s and '80s, on Friday died at his home in Florida following a heart attack. He was 80 years old.

"There are no words to express the heartache of losing my best friend and the love of my life. Ronnie's sense of humor has sustained me through the years no matter the circumstances, even to the very last," Prophet's wife, fellow country singer Glory-Anne Prophet, said on her Facebook page.

Prophet established himself in Nashville at the Carousel Club in the 1970s and 1980s, and in more recent years was based in Branson, Missouri, where he and his wife performed their own country music and comedy show.

But he got his start in his native Canada, having been born Ronald Lawrence Victor Prophet in 1937 in Hawkesbury, Ontario. He was raised near Montreal on his family's farm in Calumet, Quebec.

After performing at local clubs as a youth, Prophet made his debut in Ottawa on CFRA's country music show, The Happy Wanderers. He then appeared at Montreal nightclubs in the 1960s before moving to Nashville in 1969.

Back in Canada, Prophet earned Juno Awards in 1978 and 1979 as country male vocalist of the year, and he hosted Canadian TV shows like The Ronnie Prophet Show, Grand Ole Country, Rocky Mountain Inn and Ronnie 'n' the Browns.

As a recording artist, Prophet recorded around 25 albums, and five of his singles in the 1970s reached the Billboard country charts.

"Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999, Ronnie will always be an icon for Canadian country music," the Canadian Country Music Association said on its Twitter account.