Country music legend Merle Haggard dies at 79

Singer Merle HaggardSinger Merle Haggard

It was reported today that Merle Haggard, a legend of country music, has passed away at the age of 79. The news of Merle’s passing was confirmed to the Associated Press earlier today by Haggard’s long-standing manager.

According to early reports, Haggard died on his 79th birthday, which was today. Haggard’s manager reported that the music star died at 9:20 a.m. in his California home.

Among Haggard’s almost countless awards and achievements, the star was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame back in 1994. In his career Haggard had over 35 chart-topping records.

Haggard’s most iconic hit was “Okie From Muskogee,” as well as “Today I Started Loving You Again,” and “Sing Me Back Home.” A fan of drinking songs, Haggard also found success with songs like “Swingin’ Doors,” and “Working Man Blues.”

Not just a hit on the music-scene, Haggard also appeared in many television and film projects. His songs like “Barroom Buddies” and “Misery and Gin” can be heard in film like “Bronco Billy” starring Clint Eastwood. Haggard also starred in the film “Killers Three”.

Haggard spent time in the infamous San Quentin prison after a being charged for robbery. While he spent time there, Johnny Cash himself played his famous San Quentin 1958 stage-set, and became an inspiration for Haggard.

In his career Haggard picked up two Grammys and was named into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He was also added to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977 and was a Kennedy Center Honors inductee back in 2010.

Haggard is survived by his wife Theresa Ann Lane. They had two children named Jenessa and Ben Haggard. Haggard is also survived by his children from a previous marriage; Marty, Noel, Dana and Kelli.