Campbell’s song ends
GLEN Campbell, the affable superstar singer of Rhinestone Cowboy and Wichita Lineman whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died yesterday, his family said.
He was 81. Campbell’s family said the singer died in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given.
Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.
“Glen is one of the greatest voices there ever was in the business and he was one of the greatest musicians,” said Dolly Parton in a video statement. “He was a wonderful session musician as well. A lot of people don’t realise that. But he could play anything and he could play it really well.” Tributes poured in. “Thank you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years May you rest in peace my friend You will never be forgotten,” wrote Charlie Daniels.
One of Campbell’s daughters, Ashley, said she was heartbroken.
“I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so well and with so much love,” she wrote on Twitter.
In the late 1960s and well into the ’ 70s, the Arkansas native was seemingly everywhere with his boyish face, wavy hair and friendly tenor. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights. His performance of the title song from the 1969 film True Grit, in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar winner John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination.
He twice won album of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for lifetime achievement.
Rhinestone Cowboy stood out and became his personal anthem. Written and recorded by Larry Weiss in 1974, Rhinestone Cowboy received little attention until Campbell heard it on the radio and quickly related to the story of a veteran performer who triumphs over despair and hardship. Campbell’s version was a chart topper in 1975.
“I thought it was my autobiography set to song,” he wrote 20 years later, in his autobiography, titled Rhinestone Cowboy.
He is survived by his wife, Kim; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; and his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane and Dillon. He had 10 grandchildren.
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