Country music legend Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81.
The singer, best known for his hit song Rhinestone Cowboy, lost his “long and courageous battle” with Alzheimer’s disease on Tuesday morning at a facility in Nashville, Tennessee.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist,” his family said in a statement.
The tragic news comes six years after Campbell first announced his diagnosis.
The self-taught prodigy shot to fame in the late 1960’s and 70’s and went on to sell more than 45 million records.
As a guitarist, he worked for producers like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and played on hundreds of tracks over the span of his career, including You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling by The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas.
By the end of the 1960s, Campbell had found his own distinctive country pop sound and had become the fastest rising star in American music, with hits like Gentle on My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix.
He was also credited with paving the way for fellow country crossover artists, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
Campbell’s boyish charm also led him to be cast in a starring role in the original version of True Grit in 1969.
Most recently, the star followed in his friend Johnny Cash’s footsteps, releasing new albums with younger musicians and covering songs by contemporary artists such as U2 and The Foo Fighters.
News of his death has been met with an outpouring of tributes on social media, with Rosanne Cash remembering him as a “great voice” and “great guitarist.”
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