Country music stars react to Merle Haggard’s death

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Merle Haggard performs at Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday July 4th, 2015
Merle Haggard performs at Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday July 4th, 2015

Merle Haggard at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in 2015. Photo by Erika Rich for American-Statesman

Country music artist Merle Haggard died Wednesday on his 79th birthday.

His passing prompted many reactions, including this one from his longtime friend and collaborator, Willie Nelson, and a press release from Toby Keith.

“The greatest singer songwriter of my lifetime is gone. Thanks for the music and friendship. R.I.P. Hag,” Keith wrote.

Many others took to social media to comment on Haggard’s death.

The most poignant message is from his son and lead guitarist, Ben.

Charlie Daniels and TG Sheppard were the two artists to first break the news via Twitter Wednesday.

Austin music institutions like Waterloo Records and Austin City Limits Live sent messages expressing grief on Twitter, and Broken Spoke changed its cover photo on Facebook to honor the outlaw country star.

And, as evidenced by the host of messages from the celebrities, country music artists and journalists below, Haggard’s influence spread far and wide.

And whoever runs George Jones’ Twitter account posted this Wednesday:

This list will be updated throughout the day.


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