Country Music Legend Merle Haggard passes away yesterday on his 79th Birthday.
Merle Haggard’s son Ben told People magazine:
“A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn’t wrong. An hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn’t just a country singer .. He was the best country singer that ever lived.”
Country Artists, friends and celebrities remember country legend – Merle Haggard…
Carrie Underwood: Love and prayers for the Haggard family. Merle was a pioneer…a true entertainer…a legend. There will never be another like him.
Brad Paisley: There are no words to describe the loss & sorrow felt within all of music with the passing of Merle Haggard. Thank God for his life & songs.
George Jones: A birthday to be cherished in heaven. @merlehaggard and@gjpossum are kicking out the footlights again. RIP Merle.
Cassadee Pope: Unbelievably sad to hear of Merle Haggard’s passing. What a mark he left on country music. Forever grateful for that.
Kip Moore: RIP Merle…you paved the way for so many. You had what we all hope for…a voice that matters and survives the ever changing trends.
Charlie Daniels: Country music has suffered one of the greatest losses it will ever experience Rest in peace Merle Haggard
Dierks Bentley: literally just fell to the floor. can’t believe we lost the hag. rip merle haggard
Larry the Cable Guy: “RIP Merle Haggard. To All my friends in Sanford Fla we had many memories with Hag on in the background. Tonight play silver wings in salute.”
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin: “Just heard the legendary Merle Haggard has passed away. One of the all time all time greats. #SilverWings.”
Jason Aldean: “Extremely sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest of all time Mr. Merle Haggard today. so glad i had the chance to meet him. You will forever be missed and remembered.”
Chris Young: There will never be another artist like the Hag… Rest In Peace Merle Haggard
Clint Eastwood tells Rolling Stone: “We had a lot of fun in the recording studio and the song even made it to Number One during that era. Merle will always be one of the greatest classic country artists of all time. He will be dearly missed.”
Ron Howard tells Rolling Stone: “He was a great communicator and a powerful performer. I remembered being very impressed with him. He was a huge star at that point. His controversies were known but behind him. He was very gracious. . . He was excited to be there since he didn’t consider himself an actor — he was learning as he went. There was a confidence and humility.”
Hank Williams Jr. tells Rolling Stone: “He was your common everyday working man. I remember when I was 15 years old on tour with Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. They both were wondering which one of the two was going to make it. Well, they both made it. Today, ole Merle joined Waylon, George, and Daddy to sing in the Heavenly choir.”
Toby Keith: “The greatest singer songwriter of my lifetime is gone. Thanks for the music and friendship.”
Jake Owen named one of his dogs Merle and Tweeted: “Nobody ever sang a song with the heart and emotion that @merlehaggard did. No wonder it’s raining today. Even God is crying,”
RingoStarr: ”God bless Merle Haggard peace and love to all his family Merle was a hero of mine peace and love”
Cole Swindell tells CMT: “I’m a new guy, but we wouldn’t be anywhere without every single artist that’s came before us. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all the fans. He’s going to be greatly missed. Thank God we had him around as long as we did. I’m just trying to make my mark, and he’s a huge mark in country music history.”
Keith Urban: “One of the great concert memories I have is seeing Merle and the Strangers at the Ryman in Nashville. We had a live album of his when I was growing up, and I felt like I’d fallen inside my dad’s stereo speakers. One of my all-time favorite voices and a master songwriter. Blessings to your soulful spirit, Merle, and all of your family and loved ones.”
Charlie Daniels: “The times we worked together, I would stay and see his show. I knew he was sick. I put something on Twitter about it, and he wrote me back. He said, ‘Thank you, my friend.’ That was our last conversation, and it was on social media. I had the greatest admiration and respect for him. He reached a point that very few people reached. He only needed one name to be recognized. You say, ‘Merle,’ everyone knows you mean Merle Haggard. And when you heard him singing, everyone knew who it was. Both things are a high honor.”
Hank Williams Jr: “Merle Haggard was an original. Not just a singer, not just a songwriter, not just another famous performer. He was your common everyday working man. I remember when I was 15 years old on tour with Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. They both were wondering which one of the two was going to make it. Well, they both made it. Today, ol’ Merle joined Waylon, George and daddy to sing in the heavenly choir.”
In 2006, Eric Church did “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”
Rest In Peace.
One of these days when my time has come
You can take me back to where I’m from
Put me on a westbound train
And ship me off in the pourin’ rain
Don’t cry for me when I’m gone
Just put a quarter in the jukebox and sing me back home and
Tip your hats and raise your glasses of cold cold beer
They say country’s fading
But just keep waving that flag around here
And I know it’ll keep on coming back
As long as people pledge allegiance
Where folks still pledge allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the Hag