Country music legend Glen Campbell dead at 81

- Glen Campbell’s publicist said the country music star died Tuesday morning in Nashville.
               
He was 81 years old.

Campbell stopped in Austin just five years ago during his Goodbye Tour. It was the last time he played in the Live Music Capital of the World, but it won't be the last Austinites hear of him.

“We've lost a legend,” said KVET radio host Bob Pickett. 

Although his career spanned music, television and movies, Glen Campbell’s upbringing was anything but legendary.
               
The musician from Arkansas overcame his dirt-poor roots to find fame and fortune in Hollywood.

“He had, my goodness, I think over 82 singles released in a 50 year career, which is great! So, we're all Glen Campbell fans,” Pickett said. 

Campbell picked up his first guitar at just four years old. In his 20s, he opened for The Doors and played with the Beach Boys. Then he began a solo career, winning five Grammys for number one hit songs that still resonate with fans today.

“’Southern Nights’ that takes me back to high school every time I hear that, along with ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’” said Pickett. 

The rhinestone cowboy also hosted a television show and starred in the film "True Grit," where he played a Texas Ranger alongside actor John Wayne.

Many say it was his career that started the ball rolling for country musicians looking to expand on their talent.

“He helped pave the way, in fact, I think it's easier, look what Willie Nelson has done, look what Blake Shelton has done and others, so it's a lot easier these days,” Pickett said. 

In 2011, Glen announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but still launched his goodbye tour and even recorded one final album just months ago.

“The cool thing, also, Glen Campbell’s last album was called ‘Adios.’ Kind of ironic.  It has a song a duet with Willie Nelson,” said Pickett.  

Campbell passed away in Nashville at 81 years old after his battle with Alzheimer’s.
               
“We knew this day was coming, but it still hurts no matter what,” Pickett said. 

Country stations in Austin honor Campbell’s memory as requests for his music pour in.

“The number one song so far, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’” said Pickett. 

The artist influenced country musicians for decades to come writing albums about life, love and everything in between on the road to his horizon.

"Glen was one of the greatest voices that ever was in the business and he was one of the greatest musicians," said Country musician Dolly Parton. 

Campbell is survived by his wife Kim, his eight children and ten grandchildren.

 

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