Charlie Daniels Dies of Hemorrhagic Stroke at 83

This is a tremendous loss for the country music community.

Charlie Daniels Dies of Hemorrhagic Stroke at 83

American music has lost a legend. Charlie Daniels passed away this morning (7/6) at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee due to a hemorrhagic stroke. The 83-year-old icon had an expansive career, which earned him hit singles and numerous awards in country, gospel, Southern rock and bluegrass music. He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

“Like the rest of the music world today we are very sad at the news of Charlie Daniels passing,” The Bellamy Brothers’ David Bellamy tells Sounds Like Nashville. “He was a great entertainer, great friend and a great American.”

Daniels was known for such classic hits as “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” and of course, his signature song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Daniels was also a best-selling author and noted philanthropist. He was always a champion for the American military and co-founded the Journey Home Project in 2014 with his longtime manager David Corlew to support veterans.

“I never met a better man than Charlie Daniels,” Gretchen Wilson says. “He was so inspiring in so many ways. May he rest in peace along side of his Creator and continue to inspire.”

In addition to his legendary accomplishments as frontman of the Charlie Daniels Band, the North Carolina native was also a respected session musician who played on records for other artists including Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen and on three Bob Dylan albums, most notably on Nashville Skyline. He was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009. As a songwriter, Daniels not only penned songs for his own band, but also scored cuts by other artists including Elvis Presley, who recorded “Kissin’ Cousins.”

Daniels began playing music in North Carolina and moved to Nashville in 1967. Throughout his career, he not only won CMA and ACM awards for his country music, but also Dove Awards for his acclaimed gospel recordings.

“I’m so sad he’s gone,” Brad Paisley posted on Twitter. “We have so many memories together, and I’m so blessed to have known him. Rest in peace my friend. We love you.”

Charlie is survived by his wife of 55 years, Hazel, and their son Charlie Jr. as well as millions of fans and friends who loved him.