Country music lost a real legend today as Merle Haggard has died aged 79.
Passing away on his birthday, the sad news was confirmed by Haggard’s manager today. Haggard hailed from Oildale, California and he was known for being one of the pioneers of the Bakersfield sound.
The singer-songwriter was also part of the Outlaw Country movement in the ’70s. Over his career Haggard enjoyed 40 number 1 hits and picked up a wide variety of awards. In 1994 Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 1997 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
As well as his solo work, Haggard was well-known for his collaborations. During his long and successful career, Haggard collaborated with artists including Ernest Tubb, Gretchen Wilson, Buck Owens, Janie Fricke, Hank Williams, Jr., Porter Wagoner, Clint Eastwood, Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and Jewel.
No cause of death has been released at this time. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Haggard’s family and friends.