Country music has lost a legend, and the sad news comes the day after the close-knit community celebrated at the CMA Awards. Country music legend Roy Clark – a seven-time CMA recipient himself, who performed at the show for its 50th anniversary just two years ago —has passed away from complications from pneumonia.
The legendary star was 85 years old when he died at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as previously shared by the Inquisitr.
Clark — who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009 — played guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and more. His biggest claim to fame was his long stint on the syndicated variety show Hee Haw, which he co-hosted for 24 years. Hee Haw put Clark face-to-face with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, and Loretta Lynn, TMZ reports.
After Roy Clark’s sudden death was announced, fans from all over the world paid tribute to him. So did some of country music’s biggest stars, many of whom were lucky enough to have known him personally, like CMA host Brad Paisley.
Paisley posted a lengthy tribute to his longtime friend Roy Clark, taking to Twitter to reveal how Clark had shaped his path to country music stardom.
“My Papaw introduced me to his music as a toddler,” Paisley recalled. “Every Saturday we’d watch Hee Haw. My first guitar book was a Roy Clark guitar method. I practiced his style, then practiced making his facial expressions. He was a hero. And so many have the same story.”
Paisley also posted a throwback photo from the 2016 CMA Awards, and revealed a poignant moment that he had shared with Clark that night. Paisley later recalled his late friend’s generous nature.
“Right before this moment I was standing by Roy in the dark. I put my arm around him & told him I loved him. We both teared up. Then the lights came on & we delivered that iconic Hee Haw opening line at the CMA 50th. We will miss you so much Roy.”
When the Nashville floods wiped out most of my guitars, Roy heard about it & showed up at a show and gave me one of his. This is who this man was. Constantly giving. I owe him so much. Go say hi to my Papaw for me Roy. You left the world a much better place. #royclark pic.twitter.com/Aus1110BsU
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 15, 2018
In addition to Brad Paisley, music legend Charlie Daniels took to Twitter to reveal that he had been friends with Roy Clark for 60 years. Keith Urban noted that his first memories of the CMAS were of Clark, decades ago.
Other country stars that paid tribute to Clark included the Oak Ridge Boys — who called him a “friend, brother, mentor” — singer Rhonda Vincent, and Eddie Montgomery from the country duo Montgomery Gentry.
You can see some of the reaction to Roy Clark’s death from members of the country music industry below.
Just got word that Roy Clark has passed.
I’ve known him for 60 years and he was a fine musician and entertainer
Rest In Peace Buddy, you will be remembered
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) November 15, 2018
Just heard Hee Haw Star / Super Picker #RoyClark just passed away. Saw him last when we filmed #CountrysFamilyReunion He was always so kind. Heaven gained another amazing addition to the Angel Band. Rest In Peace Roy pic.twitter.com/9h70Nw66tX
— Rhonda Vincent (@RhondaVincent13) November 15, 2018
Roy Clark what can I say one of the greatest guitar players greatest entertainers one of the funniest actors in the world I remember growing up watching him on hee haw he influenced no telling how many entertainers!!! Love u Roy u will be missed!!!
— Eddie Montgomery (@LuckymanEddie) November 15, 2018
My first CMA memory is sitting on my living room floor watching Roy Clark tear it up. Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did. – KU
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) November 15, 2018
Take a look at a classic Roy Clark performance with some fellow country superstars below.