Merle Haggard: Country Music Stars React to His Death

His Friends Offer Outpouring of Love and Appreciation to a True Original

Not long after Merle Haggard passed away on Wednesday morning (April 6), country artists everywhere dropped everything to remember their hero and inspiration.

Toby Keith perhaps said it best in a statement he issued

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

Longtime friend and collaborator Willie Nelson also offered his thoughts in a succinct he provided.

“He was my brother, my friend,” he said. “I will miss him.”

Keith Urban said Haggard and his band, the Strangers, had a profound effect on him while growing up in Australia and later when he witnessed one of Haggard’s concerts in the U.S.

“One of the great concert memories I have is seeing Merle and the Strangers at the Ryman in Nashville,” Urban said. “We had a ‘live’ album of his when I was growing up, and I felt like I’d fallen inside my Dad’s stereo speakers. One of my all-time favorite voices — and a master songwriter. Blessings to your soulful spirit, Merle, and all of you family and loved ones.”

Others took to social media to offer their thoughts.