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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.

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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.

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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.

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