Cincinnati-born singer-songwriter Katie Reider, 30, has died in New Jersey after a two-year battle with a rare tumor that robbed her of her ability to perform, but not her will to survive.

Reider was the daughter of Rob Reider, best known as a singer on the Cincinnati-based syndicated entertainment program "The Bob Braun Show" in the 1970s and '80s, and Gaile Reider, who died of cancer in August 2007 at age 58.

"The mother-and-child reunion going on in heaven right now must be unbelievable," her father said Monday from his Montgomery home. His daughter had died early that day.

Katie Reider, one of six children, grew up in Montgomery surrounded by music. She received her first guitar, a red Gibson Epiphone, from her parents when she was in fifth grade.

• Photos: Katie Reider

"I didn't play it that much at first, but when my brother started picking it up and getting good at it, I thought, 'Hey I need to give this a try,'" she said in a biography on her Web site,

"We saw a gregariousness in her before she was 7 years old," Rob Reider said. "We have a picture of her when she was 5 or 6, holding one of my microphones, singing into it like she was on stage. She just never had any fear of being on stage or jumping out of airplane and skydiving 12,000 feet above the ground."

Reider developed a folk-pop style that's been compared to Sarah McLachlan, Ani DiFranco and Shawn Colvin.

Her talents as a songwriter, musician and performer surprised even her father.

"I could always count on myself to find a good harmony part, and Katie's were better than mine," he said.

Janet Pressley, a singer-songwriter and co-founder of Reider's label, Blue Jordan Records, recalled seeing Reider perform at the now-closed Blue Jordan Coffeehouse in Northside around 1993. Reider was then in high school at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

"She had the pipes then," Pressley said.

"I just (saw) this beautiful face upturned and singing into the mic. She was a little nervous, but her beauty just came through."

Reider had a knack for putting her audiences at ease, Pressley said.

"She genuinely wanted to connect with her audience and her listeners," she said. "She was very down to earth and accessible to people."

The Blue Jordan Coffeehouse launched Reider's career.

"I went and hung out. They have really good coffee and really good music," the Ohio State University graduate told The Enquirer in 2002. "Tyler Brown, who later produced (debut album) 'Wonder,' asked me to play between sets. I did, and he said 'Katie, you should make an album.' So my music career started out with me being terrified in a coffee shop."

Blue Jordan released three of Reider's albums: "Wonder" (1998), "No Retakes" (2001) and "I Am Ready" (2002). She asked her father to co-produce and engineer her last album, "Simplicity" (2004), which features her brother, Robbie, of Norwood, on guitar.

Rob Reider called his daughter's request "probably the nicest thing a daughter could do for her former performer father."

Reider performed everywhere from small cafés to big events, including Taste of Cincinnati and the Tall Stacks Music, Arts & Heritage Festival, sharing stages with artists including Catie Curtis, Melissa Ferrick, Anne Heaton, Michelle Malone, Antigone Rising and Ember Swift. She won five local music awards and gained national recognition when her songs were used on ABC, Lifetime and the WB series "Dawson's Creek."

In the midst of working on her fifth album and touring, Reider went to the dentist in February 2006 for what she thought was a toothache. After multiple diagnoses and treatments, doctors diagnosed her in June 2007 with a rare myofibroblastic inflammation tumor that had progressed from her sinus and upper left jaw to behind her left eye.

The noncancerous growth left Reider blind in her left eye and took away her ability to speak clearly and sing. Treatment included multiple rounds of chemotherapy, which nearly shrank the tumor in its entirety.

Throughout her illness, Reider stayed connected with her friends and fans by posting updates on her blog, In her last entry, posted June 21, Reider talked about having a "strange cough" that required her to take antibiotics through a feeding tube. But she could still eat some food by mouth.

"I have found that nothing is more tasty than an avocado or a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese," she wrote.

She also wrote about how much she enjoyed a June vacation with her partner of 10 years, Karen Reider, and their two sons – Aiden, 3, and Koen, 1 – to Reider's father's house in Maine.

"It was truly amazing," she wrote. "I was able to rest and soak in some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. We had such a good time, we're headed back in August."

Reider's father said that trip was one of his favorite memories of his daughter. It was also where Reider's mother spent the last healthy days of her life, he said.

"(Katie) had never been there, and her comment was it was all she hoped it would be and more," he said.

Reider also wrote about postponing reconstructive facial surgery so she could go on another family vacation to Bethany Beach, Del., over the Fourth of July.

"There is something I am learning through this experience," she wrote. "It is this, sometimes it is okay to be selfish and get what you want. If that means putting off something for a week or two because you need that time (and it won't hurt you physically) it is okay."

She ended the entry: "Thanks for your prayers, thoughts, calls, e-mails, love … thank you. Thank you for your love. I fight, I will keep fighting, thank you for your support!"

While in Bethany Beach, Reider began to hemorrhage from a major artery in her brain as the tumor dislodged. Doctors were able to stop the bleeding and scheduled surgery for August to remove the rest of the tumor and reconstruct the left side of her face and upper palate.

But the bleeding started again Sunday, and Reider died just before 7 a.m. Monday in an ambulance that was transporting her from a hospital near her home in Montclair, N.J., to Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.

The news shocked friends and fans who had hoped she was headed toward a full recovery.

Aaron Maas of Liberty Township, who grew up on Castleford Lane in Montgomery with the Reiders, called Reider "the greatest neighborhood kid to grow up with." She played football, baseball, army and was "especially phenomenal" at flashlight tag, said Maas, 32.

"She always had a smile and one of the most genuine laughs I ever heard," he said in an e-mail. "She never failed to wave when driving by. Years had even gone by after we all 'grew up' and gone our separate ways, yet when I did finally run into her, you wouldn't have known that a minute had gone by. She was just as open and wonderful has she always had been."

Those who knew Reider hope that her music will continue to touch people even after her death.

In May, fan and friend Lauren Fernandes launched a Web site,, where fans can donate $1 for a digital compilation of nine of Reider's original songs. All proceeds from the compilation and private donations will continue to help Reider's family pay her medical bills and funeral arrangements, which are pending.

"I know that she is going to continue to make such an impact in a lot of lives out there through her music (and) through her voice," Fernandes said. "She's always been an angel."

In addition to her partner, sons, father and brother, survivors include another brother, Andy, of Montgomery, and three sisters, Kristin of New York state, Abby of Indiana and Beth of California.

Services are pending.