Country Legend Glen Campbell Dies At 81
Country music legend Glen Campbell has died. He was 81.
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," the singer's family shared in a statement.
The voice of hits like “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” died Tuesday.
"RIP my dear old friend Glen Campbell," Canadian singer Anne Murray wrote in a message on Facebook. "Music has lost a giant of a man & a talent. I shall be forever grateful for everything he did for me."
Country star Brad Paisley tweeted: "Thank you @GlenCampbell for the artistry, grace & class you brought to country music. You were a shining light in so many ways."
And, Dolly Parton shared: "Glen Campbell was one of the greatest voices of all time. I will always love you, Glen!"
Born in Arkansas to a large family, he started playing guitar early and dropped out of school at 14 to play music with an uncle in local bars.
He became a successful session musician in Los Angeles, playing guitar on songs for Elvis Presley, The Monkees, Merle Haggard, the Byrds and the Righteous Brothers.
Campbell’s first hit was a cover of Canadian singer Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier” but he didn’t enjoy real success until releasing “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” in 1967. He won Grammy awards and hosted his own show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969 to 1972.
In 1975, "Rhinestone Cowboy" ensured Campell would have icon status for the rest of his career.
The singer was married four times and has eight children.
Campbell battled drug and alcohol addiction and was arrested in 2003 for drunk driving (he spent 10 days in jail).
"Glen Campbell was one of the great entertainers and musicians of our time," tweeted Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Peter Frampton tweeted: "As well as your incredible musical abilities you were one of the most down to earth ppl I have ever known."
In 2011, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and retiring from music. His farewell tour, in support of the album Ghost on the Canvas, included a performance at the CNE in Toronto. Earlier this year, Campbell released Adiós, a collection of covers.