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Friends remember entertainer Chris Owens as New Orleans icon is laid to rest

Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 11:37 AM CDT
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METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - On Sunday, one week before her anticipated annual French Quarter Easter Parade, iconic Bourbon Street entertainer Chris Owens was laid to rest at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home and Cemetery.

It was a solemn day of remembrance for one of New Orleans’ finest, but it still was hard for some not to smile when speaking about their friend.

“She ate, breathed and slept New Orleans. She was a phenomenal entertainer. I’m honored and blessed to have known her for 42 years,” said longtime friend Sammy Steele.

Owens passed away last Tuesday (April 5) from a heart attack at the age of 89.

Queen of Bourbon Street entertainment, Chris Owens, has died

People from all over the world knew Chris Owens as “True New Orleans,” and as a whip-smart businesswoman and entertainer.

Those closest to her, such as Melanie Cole, said Owens also knew how to have fun and always lived life to the fullest.

“The night before we went to Aspen, she was up all night like, ‘Honey, let’s just go people watch,’” Cole recalled. “I said, ‘Don’t you get any sleep at all?’ And she said, ‘It’s OK. We can sleep tomorrow.’”

Following the news of Owens’ death, people began to flock to the corner club at 500 Bourbon Street bearing her name, where Owens was a staple for more than six decades.

Another friend and colleague, Shelly Winters, said the response from the community was heartwarming, but not surprising.

“The overwhelming amount of support is truly what we expected,” Winters said. “Because if you ever met Chris Owens, your life was changed.”

Loved ones now say they know Owens will be looking down upon this year’s Easter Parade from a new stage.

“One thing I want people to know about Chris Owens is she was a very spiritual person,” said Steele.

“Chris deserves the recognition. She’s earned the recognition. She’s never met a stranger.”

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