'Rhinestone Cowboy' Music Legend Glen Campbell Dies At 81

glen campbell

Country music legend, Glen Campbell has passed away at the age of 81. The singer was fighting a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

A family statement on Campbell’s official website said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.”

Throughout his career, Campbell had many hits, with more than 80 songs charting, including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and more. He released over  70 albums, sold 50 million records and accumulated 12 RIAA gold albums, four platinum albums, and one double-platinum album.

His first Grammy win was in 1967 when the singer conquered both the song and performance awards in the pop and country/western categories.

Campbell was also known for working with fellow music legends such as the Beach Boys on their landmark Pet Sounds album, Frank Sinatra for “Strangers in the Night,” the Righteous Brothers for “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,”  the Monkees for “I’m a Believer,” Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Lou Rawls, Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard and Bobby Vee.

Among Campbell’s accolades: Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Academy of Country Music’s Album of the Year award and he was also named Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2012, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the GRAMMYS. Campbell was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy said in a statement, "Six-time GRAMMY® winner Glen Campbell was, and always will be, an American treasure. In a career spanning more than six decades, Glen contributed to countless hits as part of the renowned group of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. As an artist, his remarkable voice, top-level guitar work, and dazzling showmanship shot him to superstardom in the 1960s, and he became one of the most successful pop/country crossover artists of all time. Glen received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy™ in 2012, our formal acknowledgment of his immense contributions to music and culture and we’ll always cherish his historic appearance at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® in 2012, one of his last performances. We have lost an icon who will be greatly missed, but Glen’s musical gifts will live on forever."

Campbell is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.

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