Merle Haggard Has Passed Away At The Age Of 79
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 15:39:29
Merle Haggard has passed away at the age of 79, reports Bakersfield, California TV station ABC 23. Today was his birthday. TMZ reports that Haggard died at his home in Redding, California this morning. Haggard was hospitalized for pneumonia earlier this year.
His son, Ben Haggard, posted on Facebook, "A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn't wrong. An hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer.. He was the best country singer that ever lived."
Haggard’s contribution to country and western music is unparalleled. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped to create the Bakersfield sound, which was characterized by the use of the Fender Telecaster along with the more traditional steel guitar Haggard went on to ally himself with the outlaw country movement and give a rougher edge to country music, than what was coming out of Nashville at the time.
He put out 49 solo albums as well as a slew of collaborative records over the course of his 60-plus year career, and had 40 number one hits. Haggard won 2 GRAMMYs, 19 Academy of Country Music awards, and many others awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
Merle Haggard last released Django & Jimmie with Willie Nelson in 2015. His last solo album, Working in Tennessee, came out in 2011.
Fore more on Merle Haggard, check out:
—The ARTISTdirect Staff