Rhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell has died at age 81
Rhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell has died at age 81 after “a long and brave battle” with Alzheimer’s disease, his family said.
A self-taught prodigy, he rose from a poor rural youth to launch over 70 albums and promote 45 million records.
He was credited with paving the way for other country crossover artists like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
Dolly Parton was one of many celebrities who paid tribute to Campbell, describing him as “one of the best voices ever”.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said that he was “very divided” by Campbell’s death.”An unbelievable musician and an even better person,” Wilson tweeted.Singer Brad Paisley praised Campbell “for the artistry, grace & course you attracted to country music”.”You’re a shining light in so many ways,” he tweeted.
His first guitar cost $7 and he taught himself to playwith.
Campbell made his name in the music industry as one of the top session guitarists in Los Angeles, also helped hone producer Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound technique.
Campbell played on countless monitors including Daydream Believer by The Monkees, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley.
However, Campbell always wanted to create it under his own name. After a series of flops, in 1967 he eventually found his distinctive country pop sound with hits like Gentle On My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix.
Wichita Lineman went to No 1 in the US, won a Grammy and became much asked by US soldiers fighting in Vietnam.From the end of the 1960s, Campbell was the fastest rising star in American pop with his own TV series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.He also picked up a starring role alongside John Wayne in the first version of True Grit.
The summit of Glen Campbell‘s career was in 1975 when he topped the charts around the world with Rhinestone Cowboy.
Despite another smash hit in 1977 – Southern Nights – his personal life was in chaos.Divorce, drink and drugs watched the clean-cut all-American hero fall from grace.
Despite a relapse in 2003, when he was detained for drunk-driving along with his police mug shot has been shown around the world, the previous two decades had been more settled.
He remarried, began a new family and renewed his Christian beliefs, even though a new generation discovered his songs.”I got down on my knees and prayed.
And, finally, I got rid of these demons,” he explained in an interview.Like his buddy Johnny Cash, Campbell released acclaimed new records with younger musicians, covering tunes by modern artists such as U2 and The Foo Fighters.In 2005 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.