Country Music Icon Glen Campbell Dies At 81

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Country Music Icon Glen Campbell Dies At 81

The star - famed for his best selling hit Rhinestone Cowboy - died after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Campbell is survived by his wife of 35 years Kim, daughters Ashley, Debbie and Kelli and sons Cal, Dylan, Kane, Shannon and Travis.

Campbell announced he had Alzheimer's in 2011, going on a farewell tour of the U.S. and recording album Ghost On The Canvas.

Campbell's first big break in music came in the 1960's as part of The Wrecking Crew, an L.A. -based group of session musicians that played on some of the decade's biggest hits.

"Thank you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years", expressed veteran country musician Charlie Daniels.

A self-taught prodigy, Campbell rose from a poor rural childhood in Pike County, Arkansas, to release over 70 albums and sell 45 million records.

The show was all the more poignant because at that point several of Campbell's children were in his touring band.

Campbell was the youngest of 12 children in a desperately poor sharecropping family in Arkansas, whose birth in 1936 came as the USA was gripped by a deep economic depression.

The singer, famous in the 1960s and 70s for hits like "Rhinestone Cowboy", "Wichita Lineman" and "Gentle on My Mind", embarked on a nationwide farewell tour that ended in November 2012 soon after being diagnosed with the illness.

Campbell couldn't remember his kids' names and faces but he could still feel out a fretboard and astonish a crowd. For instance, he co-starred with John Wayne in the classic 1969 movie "True Grit". Rest In Peace, Glen Campbell", added Sheryl Crow, while Blake Shelton tweeted: "Extremely sad to hear that Glen Campbell has passed away.

Glen Campbell, a world-class, once-in-a-generation music virtuoso whose instrument just happened to be guitar and whose native style was radio-friendly country & western, has died.

He was also nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for a song from his documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. Hundreds of #Celebrities, politicians, friends, and musicians reacted with tributes and condolences on social media.

"Glen is one of the greatest voices that ever was in the business", she said. In 1958, he released two singles with the Glen-Aires, Dreams For Sale and I Wonder. "If he flubs a lyric or gets confused onstage, I wouldn't want people to think, 'What's the matter with him?"

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