Charlie Daniels, the musician whose biggest hit is “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at the age of 83, SPIN has confirmed.
The country star celebrated an over 60-year career and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2008, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Daniels died from a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday morning at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee.
Born on Oct. 25, 1938, Daniels is widely known as one of the greatest fiddle players. Daniels’ early years were spent penning music for Elvis Presley, and he appeared as an instrumentalist on three Bob Dylan albums between 1969 and 1970, including Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait, and on various Leonard Cohen recordings.
Daniels won a Grammy in 1979 for Best Country Vocal Performance for “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” That song, which was off 1979’s Million Mile Reflections, was a huge hit, landing on country and rock radio, and was popularized by its placement in 1980’s Urban Cowboy. It can still be heard on both radio formats today. Over the years, the song was frequently covered, most notably by Primus.
In addition to his music career, Daniels appeared in film and television roles including Murder, She Wrote, King of the Hill, Saturday Night Live as a musical guest, and of course, Urban Cowboy. Daniels also performed at the Super Bowl XXXIX pregame show with Gretchen Wilson.
Daniels’ final album, Night Hawk, which was released in 2016. Prior to that, Daniels released an album of Dylan covers.
For the better part of the past decade, Daniels had been battling health issues. In January 2010, Daniels suffered a mild stroke and had a heart pacemaker implanted in 2013. Despite that, he continued to perform regularly.
An outspoken conservative, Daniels tweeted about 9/11, Benghazi, abortion and the Illuminati up until literally his final day.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
As the news of Daniels’ news broke, tributes from the music world began to pour in.
Oh man, sad to hear about @CharlieDaniels passing…I grew up on his music… brilliant songs and smokin' records. And always, without fail, every time I had the pleasure of being around him, he was one of most genuine, kind and thoughtful folks I've ever run across.
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) July 6, 2020
Man I am heartbroken to hear that Charlie Daniels passed away this morning. He was one of the nicest/kindest people I have ever met. Thanks for the musical legacy u left all of us. We will miss you Mr. Charlie! pic.twitter.com/bKs49MlVlT
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) July 6, 2020
Just learning of the passing of this great man. What a hero. A true patriot, Christian, and country music icon. Prayers to his family. Thank you for all your contributions on and off the stage. God bless you Charlie Daniels. pic.twitter.com/BiQ4FlAlPc
— Luke Bryan (@lukebryan) July 6, 2020
“To be able to be a member and to have my name linked with my heroes is some pretty heady stuff for a guy that loves music and loves the Grand Ole Opry as much as I do.” – Charlie Daniels
Charlie, thank you for all of the music and joy you’ve given us. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/oecnKL2c19
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) July 6, 2020
I wrote these words for Charlie’s biography. They ring even more true now.
I’m so sad he’s gone.
We have so many memories together, and I am so blessed to have known him.
Rest In Peace my friend. We love you. @CharlieDaniels pic.twitter.com/3Pg5eWPtIf
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) July 6, 2020