Rare Country is saddened to report the passing of a genuine ’80s country star—Michael Johnson.
According to Minneapolis’ Star Tribune, Michael passed away after a lengthy illness at his Minnesota home on July 25.
A native of Colorado, Michael got his start performing in a band with John Denver. He scored his biggest hit, the pop smash “Bluer Than Blue,” in the late ’70s, then came to Nashville in 1985.
He earned kudos in country music with two chart-topping hits—“Give Me Wings” and “The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder.” He also wrote the debut single “Cain’s Blood” for ’90s country group 4 Runner. Michael charted nine songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart between 1985 and 1988, including the top 5 hit “Crying Shame.”
Michael had quadruple bypass surgery in 2007 and suffered from emphysema; however, he had continued touring up until just a few weeks before his passing.
Michael, who was 72, is survived by a daughter, Truly, who is also a performer, and two sons, Leo and Stan.
We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Michael Johnson.