Country music has just lost the legendary Merle Haggard Associated Press

Country music lost a legend today.

Merle Haggard, best known for hits such as “Okie From Muskogee,” ”Mama Tried” and “Workin’ Man Blues,” died April 6 at the age of 79. As of late, the country legend has been battling pneumonia.


RELATED: The country music community is in deep, deep mourning over the loss of Merle Haggard

Born in Oildale, California, Merle got his start in music in Bakersfield, California, with his band, The Strangers. In the ’70s, Merle played an important part of the growing outlaw country movement and throughout his remaining years, released more than 38 No. 1 hits. This success led him to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame just three years later.

In December 2015, Merle was forced off the road and into the hospital. He was diagnosed with a case of double pneumonia, forcing him to cancel all tour dates through April.

RELATED: In one of his final TV performances, Merle Haggard was joined by three country legends for a medley to remember

He was surrounded by friends and family at the time of his passing, according to his hometown paper, The Bakersfield Californian. Merle is survived by his wife, Theresa, and six children.

Please join us in sending prayers to Merle’s family, friends and fans.

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Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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