Where is Bobbie Gentry now? Uncovering the retired singer’s 42 years of isolation

By Sonam Peldon — ON Jan 18, 2023
Bobbie Gentry
Michael Ochs/Getty Images

At one point in musical history, Bobbie Gentry was a chart-topping singer-songwriter and a pioneering composer and producer for women in the industry. In the 1960s, she had a critically acclaimed debut with “Ode to Billie Joe” which was followed by successful albums over the next 15 years.

On May 10, 1981, Gentry performed for the very last time on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for Mother’s Day television special and promptly retired from making music ever again. Her final public appearance was on the night of the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 30, 1982. She has not been seen since she was 39 years old.

Bobbie Gentry reportedly lives two hours away from Tallahatchie Bridge in Mississippi

Although no one fully knows why Gentry left the spotlight, it is not difficult to decipher the reasons. She made some of her last public commitments around the time of the birth of her son, Tyler, with her former husband Jim Strafford (a fellow singer-songwriter). It is thus not farfetched to assume that she retired to prioritize her personal life.

Journalists and writers have tried to uncover her reclusive life but Gentry has managed to disappear completely from the public. She has cut contact with almost everybody in the music business and refuses to entertain any prying reporters.

According to author Tara Murtha’s 2015 biography on Gentry, the singer lived in Georgia city in the late 90s before moving to another place.

For the longest time, she was rumored to be living in isolation in a house on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It was reported that she bought the house from Lisa Marie Presley. However, Gentry has since sold the house and it is not plausible for her to live there now as it is someone else’s property.

Also, a 2016 coverage by The Washington Post dismisses this information to be false. The paper claims that a reporter tracked down Gentry’s location and phone number. Upon calling the number, Gentry picked up the phone and hung up.

Bobbie Gentry purportedly lives in a $1.5 million house (8,000-square-foot with a pool) within a gated community that is situated about a two-hour drive from Tallahatchie Bridge in Mississippi. She is said to be going by her birth name Roberta Lee Streeter.

Bobbie Gentry and Robert Streeter

In 2014, Bobbie Gentry made her first public appearance in 33 years. The image captured at the event shows a 72-year-old Gentry (who is now 80 years old) beside her half-brother Robert Streeter.