Grammy Award-winning Country music star Charlie Daniels died July 6, 2020, at age 83. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member passed away at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, as a result of a hemorrhagic stroke.
From his Gospel Music Association Dove Award-winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America's musical landscape than Daniels. The Charlie Daniels Band (CDB) is known for memorable hits and Daniels' signature song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Early in his career, he also played in Bob Dylan sessions.
Daniels parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need. He gave his time and talent to numerous charities, including The Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew, to help U.S. military veterans.
Daniels leaves behind his wife of nearly 56 years, Hazel Alexander Daniels; only son, Charles William Daniels; four grandchildren; as well as the CDB family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carlton and LaRue Daniels.
Friends in the music world reflected on Daniels' life and talent.
Well, the devil went down to Georgia, but Charlie went straight to heaven. My heart, like many millions of others, is broken today to find out that we've lost our dear friend Charlie Daniels.— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) July 6, 2020
Daniels inspired singer Jason Crabb.
"This one hits me hard," he writes. "Charlie Daniels was an inspiration to me as long as I can remember. As a kid, I listened to Charlie Daniels when I was learning guitar. Growing up as a young boy in Beaver Dam Kentucky, I could've never dreamed that I would ever share the stage with this man, let alone get to know him. He was an amazing entertainer, but more than that, he was a gentle man with a kind spirit, and if you spent any time around him at all, you knew he loved Jesus, his country and his family. We're gonna miss you, Charlie Daniels."
Famed singer Brenda Lee said of Daniels: "He loved his God, he loved his family and he loved his country. And we all loved him!!! He lived it and breathed it every day. What a great American!"
In 2017, Daniels released his memoir, Never Look at the Empty Seats, with W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. In the book, Daniels presented a lesson for everyone, no matter their profession: "Walk on stage with a positive attitude. Your troubles are your own and are not included in the ticket price. Some nights you have more to give than others, but put it all out there every show. You're concerned with the people who showed up, not the ones who didn't. So, give them a show and ... Never look at the empty seats!"
In 2018, Thomas Nelson also released the gift book Let's All Make the Day Count: The Everyday Wisdom of Charlie Daniels, which highlighted Daniels' wit and life lessons he shared through his "Let's All Make the Day Count" posts on Twitter.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, July 10, at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. An open visitation for the community will be held from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at Sellars Funeral Home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated since its original publication.
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