Legendary gospel singer and songwriter, Joyce “Dottie” Rambo died at the age of 74, Sunday, when her tour bus crashed into an embankment around 2:20 a.m.

Several members of her staff are in the hospital in Springfield with moderate to severe injuries.

It has not been determined if the severe storms and tornadoes that developed Saturday contributed to the 1997 Prevost bus crashing into a guard rail and hitting an embankment on I-44, two miles east of Mt. Vernon, Mo.

Rambo was traveling to North Richland Hills, Texas for a Mother’s Day concert at the Fountain of Life Church according to her website.

A prolific writer and singer, Rambo was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame last year by Barbara Mandrell. She is only the 10th woman entered into the hall.
“She was a giant in the gospel music industry,” said Beckie Simmons, Rambo’s agent.
Dolly Parton called the 74-year-old, “a dear friend, a fellow entertainer, and as of late, my duet singing partner.”

Rambo fell in love with country music while listening to the Grand Ole Opry in her Morganfield, Ky., home.

Writing songs at the age of 8, Rambo was singing covers of country songs on a local radio station by the age of 10.

Soon after marrying Buck Rambo at age 16, they formed a gospel trio that began a Christian music career that spanned more than 50 years and over 2,500 published songs. In 1982, “We Shall Behold Him,” was the Gospel Music Association Song of the Year.

“I know Dottie is in heaven in the arms of God right now, but our earth angel will surely be missed, “ said Parton in a statement. 

Parton sent condolences to “everyone involved in this terrible tragedy.”

Rambo was set to release a new album this summer.