Legendary singer, musician and songwriter Glen Campbell has lost his battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family revealed today in a statement posted on social media. He was 81.
"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 ... following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," the statement reads in part. Reaction was immediate and included a long list of musicians, celebrities and other well-knowns.
Songs, songs, songs... Man, in a world of good stuff, his was great, in a world of great stuff, his was special! @GlenCampbell
RIP Glen Campbell, a true gentleman genius - You will forever be gentle on our minds!
We lost a music legend today. Rest in peace, Glen Campbell. Sending love and prayers to his family.
Glen Campbell was one of the greatest voices of all time. I will always love you, Glen! https://t.co/LQFEWA42lF
Extremely sad to hear that Glen Campbell has passed away. My prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family.
Dear Glen Campbell Rest In Peace As well as your incredible musical abilities you were one of the most down to earth ppl I have ever known.
Country music will never be the same. Sending love to Glen Campbell's family.
I'm very broken up to hear about my friend Glen Campbell. An incredible musician and an even better person. I'm at a loss. Love & Mercy.
Saddened by the passing of Glen Campbell, a great entertainer, a great man & a great Arizonan - thanks for the memories!
Thank you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years May you rest in peace my friend You will never be forgotten
Thank you @GlenCampbell for the artistry, grace & class you brought to country music. You were a shining light in so many ways.
So sad that Glen Campbell has passed such a legend. #ripglencampbell #rhinestonecowboy
RIP Glen Campbell - a great singer and musician who wrote and chose to cover great songs. @GlenCampbell https://t.co/iZzAU5UWD7
What a loss. A great voice, great guitarist. https://t.co/Ls2SC1Ezd6
The world lost a little sparkle today. Rest in rhinestoned peace, @GlenCampbell ???? You inspired me so much.
Truly sad to hearing of the passing of @GlenCampbell. What a towering talent & a tenderhearted, delightful man. Sending his family my love.
Huge loss in the world of music today. Rest In Peace, Glen Campbell. https://t.co/vexA1kYixX
RIP, Glen. You were my first employer as a writer. We were all in awe of your musicality. https://t.co/WjvYWGNGl7
Campbell began playing guitar as a young child and by his mid' 20s was playing with the Wrecking Crew, a group of celebrated and versatile Los Angeles-based recording session musicians. According to Rolling Stone, Campbell played on more 586 recordings in 1963 alone, and by the end of the decade was heard on recordings such as the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." The late Leon Russell, also a member of the Wrecking Crew, called Campbell "the best guitar player I'd heard before or since," according to the publication. "Occasionally we'd play with 50- or 60-piece orchestras. His deal was he didn't read [music], so they would play it one time for him, and he had it."
Campbell's solo career had taken off by the late 1960s, resulting in hits like "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Gentle On My Mind" and "Rhinestone Cowboy," among others. He had his own TV show on CBS from 1969-72 with the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour, where a young Steve Martin had landed his first writing job. "RIP, Glen," the comedian and fellow musician wrote on Twitter upon hearing the news. "You were my first employer as a writer. We were all in awe of your musicality."
Campbell's family is encouraging donations to Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through CareLiving.org. Follow this story at Glen's website here.
Music video by Glen Campbell performing Adiós. (C) 2017 UMG Recordings, Inc. http://vevo.ly/0scYct
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin' country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.