Legendary musician Charlie Daniels has passed away at 83 years-old. The country star died of a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday, July 6, in Hermitage, Tennessee. Daniel began his music career as a session player and touring musician for singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, often working with producer Bob Johnston. Daniels went on to become a much-loved singer and songwriter, as leader of the Charlie Daniels Band. He was a larger than life presence with his good ol’ boy manner, every bit as loveable as he was gruff.
Daniels was a Christian who placed God above all else. “I want to see people understanding the Gospel message,” he told billygraham.org. “I think sometimes the reason they don’t is because of the simplicity. There’s nothing you can do but repent and believe. You can’t earn it. You can’t be good enough. … (Salvation) is a free gift. I think that’s really hard for us to understand.”
Photo: @ClicksdeMexico via Twenty20
His iconic folk song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” remains his most famous work. A talking blues tale of a fiddler’s musical battle with the devil, the song was a No. 1 country hit and crossed over to the pop charts.
Daniels was an unwavering patriot who often lent his voice to nationalistic and conservative causes. Patriotism was front-and-center in many of his latter-day songs. There can be no question that America has lost one of her proudest patriots today.
Charlie Daniels was born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina. He’s survived by his wife Hazel and his son Charlie Jr.