Charlie Daniels, who went from being an in-demand session musician to a staple of Southern rock with his hit The Devil Went Down to Georgia, has died at 83.
A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died on Monday at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee after doctors said he had a stroke.
He had suffered what was described as a mild stroke in January 2010 and had a heart pacemaker implanted in 2013 but continued to perform.
Daniels, a singer, guitarist and fiddler, started out as a session musician, even playing on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline sessions. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured endlessly, sometimes doing 250 shows a year.
“I can ask people where they are from, and if they say ‘Waukegan,’ I can say I’ve played there. If they say ‘Baton Rouge,’ I can say I’ve played there. There’s not a city we haven’t played in,” Daniels said in 1998.
Daniels performed at the White House, at the Super Bowl, throughout Europe and often for troops in the Middle East.
He played himself in the 1980 John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy and was closely identified with the rise of country music generated by that film.
The Devil Went Down to Georgia was number one on the country charts in 1979 and crossed over to the pop charts, including making the top 20 in the UK. It was voted single of the year by the Country Music Association and earned his band a Grammy for best country vocal performance by a duo or group.
Source: The Guardian
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