Charlie Daniels, Country Music Legend, Dead at 83

By
Charlie Daniels
Joseph Llanes

Charlie Daniels, the country music and southern rock legend, has died. He was 83.

ET has learned that Daniels died Monday morning at the Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, from a hemorrhagic stroke. 

"Charlie Daniels was a reverential innovator," Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said in a statement. "He was a fiddle-playing bandleader, like King of Country Music Roy Acuff. His music fused the immediacy of Southern Rock with the classic country storytelling that he heard as a child in Wilmington, North Carolina."

"He brought new audiences to country music, pointing people to the sources even as he explored the edges," the statement continued. "He was also a delight to be around, always with wife Hazel at his side. Just as fiddler Johnny did in the famous song, Charlie Daniels beat the Devil.”

Sarah Trahern, Chief Executive Officer of CMA, shared similar sentiments, saying in her own statement, "There are few artists that touched so many different generations in our business than Charlie Daniels did."

"Today, our community has lost an innovator and advocate of Country Music. Both Charlie and Hazel had become dear friends of mine over the last several years, and I was privileged to be able to celebrate Charlie’s induction into the Opry as well as tell him that he was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame," the statement continued. "I will always remember the look of sudden shock and delight on his face as he realized he would be in the Hall of Fame Rotunda for the ages. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time.” 

Over his decades-long career, which began in the '50s, Daniels produced a number of hits with his band, including "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The latter was the CMA Single of the Year in 1979 and earned the Charlie Daniels Band a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

The country legend has received numerous accolades over the years, including an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame, as well as becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Daniels is survived by his wife, Hazel, and son, Charlie Daniels Jr. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

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