In shocking news for the country world, Merle Haggard has passed away today. TMZ shared the news that the country singer died after a long battle with double pneumonia. His manager confirmed his death today. This news comes out after Merle canceled several shows around the country recently. It also happened to be his 79th birthday, and fans were not expecting this news. Even though everyone knew that Merle Haggard had been ill, they didn’t realize that it was this bad.
This battle has been a long one for Merle Haggard. He was actually diagnosed with pneumonia last year, and spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Riverside. Merle had been doing better and scheduled several concert dates with Willie Nelson, but later had to cancel them. Just last week, Merle started to cancel the rest of the dates that he was going to attempt to do. Fans knew that he wasn’t doing well, but they had not shared the details of how bad things were for him. When buying tickets, a lot of people realized this could be their last chance to see Merle Haggard in concert.
If you are a fan of Merle Haggard, then you know his songs. You can check out several of Merle’s famous songs in the YouTube video below. Merle’s fans will never forget his music.
Merle Haggard died today, on his 79th birthday. This amazing country singer will be missed by many. Taste of Country shared that Merle told Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius XM he was “nearly dead” when he was hospitalized for two weeks last year. Haggard had been in hospice care recently. Merle had not updated fans lately exactly how he was doing, but everyone knew he was ill and dealing with a hard time.
Merle Haggard had a bit of a crazy past. His father died when he was just 9-years-old, and then Merle got picked up by police at the young age of 10 after he hopped onto a freight train. When he was just 20-years-old, Merle Haggard ended up in prison at San Quentin, where he started to take his music seriously. Merle was actually there and got the chance to see the big performance by Johnny Cash at this prison. He got his act together, though, and became a country music legend that will never be forgotten by his fans.
Merle Haggard actually got married and divorced four times, and then in 1993 he married his fifth wife, Theresa Ann Lane. Merle had to undergo angioplasty in 1995 to unblock clogged arteries, and then in 2008, Haggard had part of his lung removed because of non-small-cell lung cancer.
When it comes to his career, Merle Haggard was a country legend. He will always be remembered for songs such as Okie From Muskogee and Mama Tried. Back in 1994, Merle was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was also added to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977. Even through his illness, Merle Haggard has worked hard on his career, even putting out a new album, Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson in 2015, which actually debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Merle proved that even after being sick and at his age, fans loved his music and wanted more from him.
Are you shocked by the death of Merle Haggard today? Did you miss out on seeing one of his last concerts because it was canceled? This amazing singer will be missed forever. Sound off in the comments on your favorite Merle song.
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Big Barrel]