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See Why She Was The “First Lady Of Banjo,” Remembering Roni Stoneman, Dead At 85.

A two-photo collage. The first shows a black and white photo of a young Roni Stoneman in a studio being recorded as she plays the banjo. The second image shows Stoneman on stage in 2012 playing the banjo in Nashville.

So many legendary musicians have made a name for themselves in the world of country music. Sadly, the world lost one of the best yesterday: Veronica “Roni” Stoneman. She quickly rose to fame thanks to her role on the hit country music show Hee Haw. Here, she was given a stage to show off both her musical and comedic skills. In turn, fans across the country fell in love.

But Stoneman’s love for music started long before Hee Haw. The second youngest of 23 children, she was a key member of the Stoneman Family band. Their group would even go on to win numerous awards, including Vocal Group of the Year from the Country Music Association in 1969.

As Stoneman grew up, however, she quickly made a name for herself outside of her family’s band and Hee Haw. In fact, she’s been deemed the First Lady of Banjo. If you’ve ever heard her play, you understand perfectly how she earned this title — watching Stoneman play the banjo is unreal!

You can watch the video below to see Stoneman perform Foggy Mountain Breakdown in Nashville in June 2012.

Fans Honor the Late Roni Stoneman, First Lady of Banjo

“Roni was an integral part of a bedrock country music family, who were longtime fixtures in the country music scene of Washington, DC,” Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young shares. “For 18 years on Hee Haw, she stole scenes as both a skillful banjo player and as a comical, gap-toothed country character. She was a great talent and a strong woman.”

Fans of Stoneman are taking to social media to share kind words about this legendary country musician that they adored so much.

“She was an amazing talent,” one fan says. “Her ability to pick that banjo is legendary.”

“Roni was a jewel…. I was so happy to meet her and see her and Mona Jo Griffin play banjos together at my Aunt Gail’s house in NC a few years ago,” another fan shares. “She was so nice and loved making us all laugh. May she rest in peace and play that banjo high in the sky!!”

You can find the sources of this story’s featured image here and here.

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