SINGING LEGEND DIES AT 81
Glen Campbell, superstar entertainer of 1960s and ‘70s, won multiple Grammy Awards, recorded more than 70 albums
Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.
Campbell’s family said the singer died Tuesday morning 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.
In the late 1960s and well into the ‘70s, the Arkansas native seemed to be everywhere, known by 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 “True Grit,” a 1969 release 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.
His last record was “Adios,” which came out in June, and features songs that Campbell loved to sing, but never recorded, including tunes made famous by Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash.
Campbell was among a wave of country crossover stars that included Johnny Cash, Roy Clark and Kenny Rogers, and like many of his contemporaries, he enjoyed success on television. Campbell had a weekly audience of some 50 million people for the “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” on CBS from 1969 to 1972. He gained new fans decades later when the show, featuring his cheerful greeting “Hi I’m Glen Campbell,” was rerun on cable channel CMT.
He released more than 70 of his own albums, and in the 1990s recorded a series of gospel CDs. His 2011 album “Ghost On the Canvas” included contributions from Jacob Dylan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.
He is survived by his wife, Kim; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; and his children from previous marriages.
In this July 27, 2011 photo, musician Glen Campbell poses for a portrait in Malibu, Calif.