Country music legend Merle Haggard dies on 79th birthday

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


Country music legend Merle Haggard has died, his manager confirmed to WSMV. He turned 79 on Wednesday.

Haggard’s manager told WSMV he died at 9:20 a.m. in California.

Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and was awarded with Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

The country star had recently cancelled a concert planned for Independence with Willie Nelson.

One of the last messages from Haggard’s official Twitter account was a retweet on March 21 of his son Ben singing “Don’t close your eyes” by Keith Whitley, a now fitting tribute to his late father.

Music stars took to Twitter to post their own messages of love, respect, and support for Haggard and his lasting legacy on country music.

Haggard was known for such hits as ‘Okie from Muskogee,’ ‘The Fightin’ Side of Me’ and ‘Working Man Blues.’