If you were consuming music between the 1960s and 1980s, odds are that you heard of Bobbie Gentry. The now-retired singer-songwriter rose to international fame in 1967 thanks to her song "Ode to Billie Joe," which spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and earned her multiple Grammy awards.
However, Bobbie's career came to an abrupt end over four decades ago when she made her final public appearance the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 30, 1982. Many fans have no clue what happened to the music phenom after that moment, so where is Bobbie now? Here are all of the known details.
Where is Bobbie Gentry now? What happened to her?
The world of country music was shocked when Bobbie stepped away from the spotlight at the height of her career in the early '80s, and for the most part, the star has kept herself entirely out of the public eye since. There are still a few details we can piece together about her life, but not much is known about her.
When thinking of living musicians with an assumed tie to Bobbie, one likely immediately thinks of Reba McEntire. After all, Reba and Bobbie are inexplicably tied by the fact that the former recorded a cover of Bobbie's 1991 hit "Fancy," which became a defining track of her own career. Funny enough, despite covering Bobbie's song, Reba never officially met the reclusive star.
"I've never met her. I've never talked to her," Reba told Taste of Country in 2020. "I talked to so many people who have gotten to work with her and know her and do stay in communication with her and I would say, 'Hey, would you tell her that I'd really like to meet her sometime or talk to her or email or text or smoke signals or anything.' I don't care, I'd just really like to communicate with her. I'd love to know where did she get the idea of 'Fancy' and what was the thinking behind it."
Is Bobbie Gentry still alive? She may reside in Memphis, Tenn.
In 2016, The Washington Post ran an article in which they attempted to uncover where Bobbie could have gone after disappearing at the height of her career. A journalist working on the piece managed to find a phone number for an address in Memphis, Tenn., that they believed belonged to Bobbie.
When they began asking for Bobbie, the person replied, "There's no one here by that name."
"I apologized and started to read back the number, to make sure I had dialed it correctly, and she hung up," the article said. "But there really isn't any doubt. I talked, for about 13 seconds, to Bobbie Gentry."
Another report in The Tennessean claims that there is a possibility that Bobbie resides in Los Angeles, but neither location can be confirmed as there are no public records listing Bobbie's current residence.
Although Bobbie disappeared from music 40 years ago, it's clear from the fact that people are still looking for her today that she remains a topic of interest amongst country fans.