Country singer Glen Campbell died today at the age of 81, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” the singer’s family said in a statement.
A rep for Universal Music Group, Glen’s record label, confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.
Over the course of six decades, Glen released 21 Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman.” He also sold over 45 million records, outselling the Beatles in 1968, Rolling Stone reported.
From music, Glen transitioned to TV and acting. He hosted his own variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969 to 1972, which featured artists like Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson.
He also starred alongside John Wayne in the 1969 Oscar-winning film True Grit.
In his personal life, Glen struggled with both alcoholism and cocaine addiction. He married four times, and has five sons and three daughters. In 2011, the singer revealed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Glen still managed to release another album just this year, Adios. In a 2014 documentary about Glen’s fight against Alzheimer’s, I’ll Be Me, Glen’s wife Kimberly Woollen credited music with helping Glen get through his final years.
“I could tell from his spirits that it was good for him. It made him really happy,” she said.
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