Singer, Sausage Businessman Jimmy Dean Dies at 81

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Jimmy Dean, a man known for singing and selling sausage, has passed away at the age of 81.

Dean was at his Virginia home with his wife, Donna, when he died. She said his death came as a shock because he did not have any serious health problems.

"He was amazing. He had a lot of talents," Donna said.

Dean was born into poverty in Plainview, Texas. He dropped out of high school after the ninth grade.

But he went onto a successful entertainment career, including hosting "The Jimmy Dean Show."

He became a country music legend in 1961 after his smash hit " Big, Bad John." The song, which he said only took him two hours to write, earned him a Grammy.

He later went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Company, and he made millions of dollars. He later sold his company to Sarah Lee Corporation.

Back in the 1990's, Dean's fortune was estimated at $75 million dollars, and he said he would always be careful with the money he had earned over the years.

He once told the Associated Press, "I've seen so many people in this business that made a fortune. They get old and broke and can't make any money. ... I tell you something, ... no one's going to play a benefit for Jimmy Dean."

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