The world lost a truly legendary singer/songwriter this morning.
Merle Haggard took his last breath today, his 79th birthday, in California surrounded by family and friends. After the singer’s passing, Haggard’s son, Ben, took to Facebook to honor his late father and revealed that Merle recently predicted the day he would die.
“A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn’t wrong,” Ben shared. “A hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music.”
“He wasn’t just a country singer.. He was the best country singer that ever lived,” he added.
Haggard, who was dubbed “The Poet Of The Common Man,” has been battling several health issues since December of last year. He was forced to cancel several concerts, including a run of shows with Willie Nelson, so far this year. While his cause of death is unclear at this time, we do know that Haggard had been battling a severe bout of double pneumonia.
Ben Haggard is Merle’s youngest son and the lead guitarist in his band, The Strangers.