Country and Western artist Glen Campbell has passed away.
The singer-songwriter, who was born in Arkansas, sold over 45m records over the course of a career that spanned more than 60 years. A statement from the Campbell family on his website read: “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.”
From 1969 to 1972, Glen Campbell was the host of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS, a music and comedy variety show that aired 91 episodes. Among his 80 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard Country charts were hits such as Rhinestone Cowboy, By the Time I Get to Phoenix and his cover of Gentle on My Mind.
Glen Campbell recorded his final studio album, Adios, in Nashville in 2012 and 2013 after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis; it was released in June this year. The seventh of 12 kids, Campbell dropped out of school when he was 14, moving first to Wyoming and then to Los Angeles, where in the early 60s he appeared on the records of Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and the Byrds. His first hit came in 1967 with By the Time I Get to Phoenix, written by Jim Webb. They would go on to collaborate on numerous records such as Wichita Lineman and the ballad Galveston.
He was also nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for a song from his documentary Glen Campbell: “Be Me.”
Dolly Parton paid tribute, saying: “Well Glen Campbell was special because he was so gifted. Glen is one of the greatest voices there ever was in the business. And he was one of the greatest musicians. He was a wonderful session musician as well, a lot of people don’t realize that. But he could play anything and he could play it really well. So he was just extremely talented.”
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