Country music star Charlie Daniels dies aged 83 following stroke

Country music star Charlie Daniels has died aged 83.

The singer and songwriter died on Monday (6 July) at the Summit Medical Centre in Hermitage, Tennessee, following a hemorrhagic stroke – his publicist has confirmed.

No other further details are currently known.

Daniels, who was famed for his fusion of traditional country music and Southern rock, reportedly had a history of heart problems and was fitted with a pacemaker back in 2013 to regulate his heart rate.

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame four years ago in 2016 and was best known for his number one hit The Devil Went Down To Georgia, that landed a Grammy Award for best country vocal performance.

Daniels, born in North Carolina, first made his mark on the country music scene in Nashville as a session musician.

He co-wrote track It Hurts Me that was recorded by Elvis Presley and had worked with the likes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, before recording his debut solo album, titled Charlie Daniels, in 1971.

His first hit, Uneasy Rider, came from his third album – released in 1973 – and went on to reach number nine in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Daniels was loved for his headlining appearances at Nashville’s Volunteer Jam concerts, which ran from 1974 until 1996 before later being revived in 2015.

His involvement with the 2015 concert saw him raise $300,000 (£240k) for Journey Home Project – a non-profit Daniels founded to assist America’s military veterans.

Daniels was also honoured as a BMI Icon at the BMI Country Awards in 2005 and his songwriting won him six BMI awards across his career.

Country singer Brad Paisley tweeted an excerpt he had penned about Daniels for his biography and said: ‘I wrote these words for Charlie’s biography. They ring even more true now. I’m so sad he’s gone. We have so many memories together, and I am so blessed to have known him. Rest In Peace my friend. We love you.’

Grammy Award winning singer Travis Tritt wrote on Instagram: ‘My heart is crushed today after hearing that my dear friend Charlie Daniels has passed away. Charlie was the first legendary artist to take me under his wing and encourage me when I was first getting started in the business.

‘He was always there for me when I needed him. I have so many great memories of touring, performing, writing and recording with Charlie, but my favorite memories are of simply talking with the man when it was just the two of us alone. Farewell dear friend until we meet again. Thank you for being such a friend, mentor and inspiration to me. I will always be grateful.’

Daniels is survived by his wife Hazel, who he married in 1964, and their son Charlie Junior.

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