Hazel Dickens Dies

Hazel Dickens, a folk singer and bluegrass musician who advocated for coal miners, has died at age 75.

Dickens died Friday morning at a Washington hospice of complications from pneumonia. Her death was confirmed by Ken Irwin, a founder of Rounder Records, her label for about 40 years.

Dickens became a fixture in the bluegrass circuit in the 1960s and 1970s with her musical partner, Alice Gerrard. The duo performed as Hazel & Alice. They were among the first prominent women bluegrass performers.

Dickens’s music was later featured in the 1976 Oscar-winning documentary, “Harlan County, USA,” about Kentucky coal miners. Irwin said Dickens will be remembered for giving voice to coal miners.

Among her honors was a 2008 induction into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.