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.
he was gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/IdWp9AHBK6
— Ben Haggard (@BenHaggardMusic) March 22, 2016
Music stars took to Twitter to post their own messages of love, respect, and support for Haggard and his lasting legacy on country music.
Country music has suffered one of the greatest losses it will ever experience Rest in peace Merle Haggard
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) April 6, 2016
There are no words to describe the loss & sorrow felt within all of music with the passing of Merle Haggard. Thank God for his life & songs.
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) April 6, 2016
Love and prayers for the Haggard family. Merle was a pioneer…a true entertainer…a legend. There will never be another like him.
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) April 6, 2016
literally just fell to the floor. can't believe we lost the hag. rip merle haggard
— Dierks Bentley (@DierksBentley) April 6, 2016
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) April 6, 2016
"Mighty" Merle Haggard was the greatest country songwriter of ALL TIME. We shared many great memories, and I will miss him. #merlehaggard
— John Rich (@johnrich) April 6, 2016
We lost a real legend today. We'll miss you, Merle. https://t.co/OVhUb3NqGb
— The Avett Brothers (@theavettbros) April 6, 2016
Haggard was known for such hits as ‘Okie from Muskogee,’ ‘The Fightin’ Side of Me’ and ‘Working Man Blues.’