Outlaw country icon Merle Haggard died earlier today, on his 79th birthday. The “Okie From Muskogee” singer had been battling heath issues for much of the past year, and finally succumbed to the double pneumonia he had been battling. Kacey Musgraves is among the many musicians expressing their condolences and admiration for the late artist. “I’m so sad about Merle and the rest of my heroes riding off into the sunset,” she told SPIN in a statement. “Artists like Merle Haggard are important because they became legends and set trends not by worrying about money and fame but just by being themselves. So it just inspires me even more to uphold what’s important to me as a person and songwriter first and not worry about the rest.”
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