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The artist often referred to as “the nicest guy in country music,” is mourning the passing of the man he calls his hero and inspiration. Steve Wariner has shared the heartbreaking news that his father has passed away.

In a tribute on his Instagram page, Steve writes, “It is with great sadness I bring you the news of my father’s passing. Roy Monroe Wariner died peacefully Friday night, July 7th in Jamestown, Kentucky.” Steve adds, “He was certainly my hero and inspiration and will forever be missed.”

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According to the funeral home’s obituary, Roy, a Navy veteran, was born in Champaign, Illinois. However, Steve and his brothers and sister were born just east of Champaign in Noblesville, Indiana. Roy was also responsible for Steve’s early interest in music.

By day, Roy held a day job in a local foundry, according to Indianapolis Monthly, but he spent his off-time playing in a regional band. Steve eavesdropped on their rehearsals and taught himself to play along with their tunes. A singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso, Steve played in his uncle’s band before starting his Nashville career at age 17 playing for Dottie West.

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Roy is survived by Steve, his siblings and their respective spouses, along with 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Our hearts go out to Steve and his family during this difficult time.

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