The world has just lost another legendary musician as word has come in that Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Daniels has passed away at the age of 83 years old. According to his publicist, Daniels died at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee on Monday after suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke. This follows a prior stroke Daniels had in 2010 along with a heart pacemaker implanted in 2013, but despite his health issues, the world-famous singer continued to perform. Daniels was also a cancer survivor, having beaten prostate cancer in 2001.
Charles Edward Daniels was born on Oct. 28, 1936, in Wilmington, North Carolina. Taking an early interest in music, he had learned to play the guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin by the time he graduated high school in 1955, forming his own band and performing after his graduation. Working as a session musician in Nashville in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Daniels had played bass and guitar on three Bob Dylan albums. In 1971, he’d release his first solo album, the self-titled Charlie Daniels. His third album, Honey in the Rock, would produce his first big hit when “Uneasy Rider” ranked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Of course, Daniels is perhaps best known for the hit country song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which was released by The Charlie Daniels Band in 1979 for the album Million Mile Reflections. The memorable song tells the story of a man who thwarts the Devil’s attempts to win his soul by means of a fiddle-playing contest. Ranking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song earned Daniels a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance. The song was also featured on the Urban Cowboy soundtrack and received renewed popularity when it was included in the hit video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the final guitar battle of the game.
For his impressive career in music spanning several decades, Daniels has been commemorated with many prestigious honors. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Daniels has also been inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. A local park was named after Daniels in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb where he’d been living until his passing. Daniels would also tell his life story in the memoir Never Look at the Empty Seats, which was published by HarperCollins in 2017. The legendary singer would often appear as himself in various commercials and television programs as well, such as the PBS mini-series Country Music in 2019.
Daniels’ survivors include his wife, Hazel, with whom he’d been married since 1964, along with their son, Charlie Daniels, Jr. We extend our condolences to them at this time. Daniels was a unique talent whose timeless work will keep him forever remembered by his fans, and his remarkable accomplishments make him a legend in every sense of the word. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from WBNS.