Legendary Country Star Glen Campbell Dies Aged 81

9 August 2017 | 8:51 am | Staff Writer

The renowned singer-songwriter released his final album, 'Adios', in June.

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell

Influential, iconic country music star Glen Campbell has died following a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 81.

The news was confirmed by his family in a statement announcing his death "with the heaviest of hearts".

The renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011 after years of battling increasing symptoms of the illness. He retired from touring and live performance in 2012 following his 'Goodbye' Tour, and recorded what would be his final album — this year's Adios, released in June — soon after.

His youngest daughter, Ashley — a skilled musician in her own right who toured internationally with Campbell, including on his farewell run, along with her brothers Shannon and Cal — said that she was "heartbroken" by the loss of her father.

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"I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be," she wrote. "He will be remembered so well and with so much love."

The family have advised that, in lieu of fans sending flowers, "donations can be made through www.careliving.org to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation, which will support Alzheimer's research and education".

Born in 1936, Campbell released his first album in 1962. His career is the stuff of legend, and with exceptionally good reason; though arguably best-known for his seminal 1975 recording of Larry Weiss' Rhinestone Cowboy — a title that would go on to be commonly associated with the singer himself — he recorded more than 60 studio albums across a 50-year period. He sold 45 million copies of his records, yielding multiple Gold and Platinum results, as well as one double Platinum.

Campbell released more than 80 singles that went on to rank on at least one major chart in the United States, nine of which hit #1, including I Wanna Live, Wichita Lineman (both 1968), Try A Little Kindness, Galveston (both 1969), Rhinestone Cowboy, Country Boy (You've Got Your Feet In LA) (both 1975), Don't Pull Your Love (1976), Sunflower and Southern Nights (both 1977).

He won 10 Grammy Awards — and was nominated for a further 11 — between 1967 and 2014. Campbell made history that first year by picking up four prizes — two country awards (for Gentle On My Mind) and two pop awards (for his song By The Time I Get To Phoenix) — at the one ceremony.

His seventh studio album, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, went on to win Album Of The Year in 1968, and he won three Grammy Hall Of Fame Awards in 2000, 2004 and 2008 before being bestowed a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He won several other accolades — 10 Academy Of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, two Country Music Association Awards and more — over the course of his career.

In 2014, he won one more Grammy (and nomination) for his heart-rending last single, I'm Not Gonna Miss You — his final recording — which appeared on the soundtrack to that year's stunning Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me documentary, canvassing his Goodbye Tour and experiences with Alzheimer's.

In addition to his jaw-dropping discography, Campbell also plied his natural charm in movies and on TV, famously featuring in the original version of True Grit (1969), earning a Golden Globe nomination for his appearance as Le Beouf and writing the film's Oscar-nominated title song. He also hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour from 1969-72, among other screen projects (including a cameo in 1976's Any Which Way You Can).

A huge outpouring of tributes has followed around the world as news of Campbell's passing has spread, including from fellow musicians such as Huey Lewis, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Brian Wilson and Blake Shelton as well as wrestler Mick Foley, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Martin and the estate of Campbell's True Grit co-star John Wayne, among several others.

As listed by his family, he is survived by his wife, Kim; their children Cal, Shannon and Ashley; children from previous marriages Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane and Dillon; 10 grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra and Jane; and brothers John Wallace 'Shorty' and Gerald.