Although best known for his fictional duel with the Devil on a fiddle, Charlie Daniels and his band have been a driving force behind the Southern rock movement for more than five decades. Now comes word that he has passed away.
Legendary Star Charlie Daniels Has Passed Away
According to the Associated Press, legendary country music singer and fiddler Charlie Daniels has passed away at the age of 83. A statement by Daniels’ publicist noted the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in Hermitage, Tenn., with doctors reporting he had a stroke.
He began his career as a session musician, most notably playing on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline sessions.
In the early ’70s, he formed The Charlie Daniels Band and there’s not a country fan alive unfamiliar with his hits such as Long Haired Country Boy, The South’s Gonna Do It Again, In America, and of course, The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
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That song was No. 1 on the country charts in 1979 and reached No. 3 on the pop charts. It was also voted Single of the Year by the Country Music Association.
Over his storied career, Daniels performed at the White House, played the Super Bowl, toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, and often played for troops in the Middle East.
In 2010, Daniels suffered what was described as a mild stroke and he had a heart pacemaker implanted in 2013 but continued to perform.
He was invited to play the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 71, and was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
In a past interview with this reporter, Daniels was asked if he had a message for those who have been following him through the years.
“I would like to say, ‘thank you’ to all my fans because they have enabled me to live a dream,” Daniels said at the time. “It’s been a lot of hard work and ups and downs and sideways, but it’s all been incredibly fun.”