Charlie Daniels died on Monday morning of a hemorrhagic stroke in a Tennessee hospital, his publicist announced. He was 83.
Daniels’ most well known hit was “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but he was a prolific singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist (fiddle, guitar) with numerous other hits. He was a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.
Daniels’ music was also diverse, in that he and his band (The Charlie Daniels Band) were also known for Southern Rock, patriotic music, bluegrass, and gospel. Daniels was known as a devout Christian, and he picked up four Grammy nominations for gospel.
Some of his other hits included “In America,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag,” and “Uneasy Rider.” He released 30 studio albums, eight live albums, and four compilations.
The “Devil’ tune hit Number One on both the U.S. and Canadian Country charts, and also number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It earned a Grammy (best country vocal performance) and was featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. It was covered by numerous groups, and Daniels teamed up with Mark O’Connor, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, and Johnny Cash for a sequel, “The Devil Comes Back to Georgia.”
Daniels was born in 1936 in Wilmington, NC. He grew up in North Carolina. While he launched his music career following his 1955 graduation from high school, he released his first album in 1971. He performed with numerous other musicians, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Hank Williams, Jr.
Daniels is survived by his wife, Hazel, and his son, Charlie Daniels, Jr.