country music artist

5 country artists who died in 2016

By C. Murph | Monday Monday Staff -    2016-08-24

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2016 isn’t even over yet and we’ve already said goodbye to so many great people and fantastic music makers. Although it’s sad to think about, we wanted to honor these people and the music they made.

So here are five country music artist who passed away this year.

Guy Clark

He was a legend, and despite his death on May 17, he will continue to be a great force in the country music world. He battled health problems for several years and, at 74, he eventually could go no further.

His songs, which have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney, will live on. His most famous song is “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” Well, he took his final train home.

Red Simpson

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Simpson was best known for trailblazing the way for the Bakersfield Sound. He suffered a heart attack December 18, 2015, went into cardiac arrest January 8, 2016, and eventually passed away.

Originally with Tally Records, Simpson soon went on to build a career as a very influential songwriter. The Bakersfield Sound gave way to Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, both recording songs that Simpson wrote.

Craig Strickland from Backroad Anthem

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Strickland was found dead January 4 with his dog keeping watch over his body. The band member and his friend, Chase Morland, went missing while duck hunting a week or so earlier.

The band says that in honor of Craig, they will continue to create music.

Sonny James

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This Country Music Hall of Famer died February 22 of natural causes. He had found the top in the country music world. His song, “Young Love” climbed to the top of the country and pop charts in 1957, and he had more than 20 hits that topped the charts.

2006 is when he earned a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and he also had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Merle Haggard

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After struggling with a series of health issues, Haggard died on his 79th birthday, April 6, 2016. Way back in 1964, he put out his first single, “Sing A Sad Song,” which was a cover of Wynn Stewart’s song. But the songs he’s best known for are “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Branded Man,” “Sing Me Back Home,” and “Mama Tried.” These along with numerous other songs helped him develop somewhat of a report in the world of country music songwriting.

He won a number of awards, including multiple Grammys. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

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C. Murph

C. Murph is a freelance writer who lives in Pennsylvania.

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