Phoebe Snow, 'Poetry Man' Singer, Has Died

Apr 26, 2011

Phoebe Snow had one of the most distinctive voices in pop music. It went silent Tuesday morning, more than a year after Snow suffered a brain hemorrhage. She was 58.

Snow was 22 when "Poetry Man" reached the Top 10 in 1975. The song sounded like nothing else on the radio. It was refreshing and unusual to see someone embraced on the strength of her voice and songwriting alone — and not her looks. She was not the prefab concoction we've come to know as a pop princess, yet Snow soon graced the cover of Rolling Stone.

But she chose not to chase what seemed like certain fame and success — for very personal reasons. Not long after "Poetry Man" became a hit, Snow gave birth to a brain-damaged daughter. Snow's husband left her, and the songwriter decided to care for her daughter at home. She moved back to New Jersey, where she'd grown up.

Career took a back seat to parenting and care-giving, yet Snow continued to perform and record. Her final album, a concert recording, came out in 2008. Her daughter died the year before. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit