Singer-songwriter Audrey Auld-Mezer died in California on Sunday after a battle with cancer. She was 51 years old. Her music was featured on television shows including "Justified" and "Longmire," and Texas country singer Sunny Sweeney recorded Auld's "Next Big Nothing."
For several years, Ms. Auld conducted songwriting workshops with inmates at San Quentin State Prison as part of her involvement with the nonprofit organization Bread and Roses.
Even as she battled her illness, Ms. Auld was using her voice to help others: Before she left Nashville for California, she recorded her final album. "Hey Warden," which was released earlier this year, is a collection of eight songs that Ms. Auld wrote with inmates and released through her own label, Reckless Records. She also filmed one last video, "I Am Not What I Have Done," a song whose title came from an inmate's letter.
Auld was born in 1964 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. She grew up listening to a variety of musical styles from classical to punk, and then fell in love with country music. She formed a few bands - the Cowbelles and Audrey & The Rhythm Wranglers among them - and then, in the mid-1990s, she met musician Bill Chambers. He produced her debut EP, "Audrey," in 1997. Two years later, the two released "Looking Back to See," an album of duets inspired by classic country recordings by artists such as the Louvin Brothers and Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.
The following year, Ms. Auld released her first full-length solo album, "The Fallen." The record, which overflowed with Ms. Auld's stellar songwriting and, on tracks such as "I'd Leave Me Too," her sharp sense of humor, received an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) award nomination for Best Country Album.
Ms. Auld is survived by her husband, Mez Mezera. Funeral arrangements are unknown at this time.