Fans remember Merle Haggard at Independence show featuring Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Fans packed the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Monday night in Independence to see Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson, but most bought tickets hoping to see Merle Haggard.

Haggard announced at the end of March that he planned to cancel all his April tour stops, including the stop in Independence. He'd been battling pneumonia since December.

When fans found out Merle canceled, they were disappointed, but when he died, they were shocked and saddened.

"It's a big loss, and we were counting to see Merle," said Cheryl Glidewell.

"Oh disappointed, you know? You think these guys are gonna live forever, but they're not, you know. It's just- disappointed that we didn't get to see them," said Jim Denney.

Haggard died April 6th- on his 79th birthday. Fans say he's gone, but a country great like that will never be forgotten.