DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Merle Haggard (aged 79)
American country music song writer, singer and musician
Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) was an American country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of the Fender Telecaster mixed with the sound of the steel guitar, vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.
DEATH: Haggard underwent angioplasty in 1995 to unblock clogged arteries. On November 9, 2008, it was announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in May and undergone surgery on November 3, during which part of his lung was removed.Haggard returned home on November 8. Less than two months after his cancer surgery, he played two shows on January 2 and 3, 2009, in Bakersfield at Buck Owens Crystal Palace, and continued to tour and record until shortly before his death.
In March 2016, Haggard was once again hospitalized. His concerts for April were canceled due to his ongoing double pneumonia. On the morning of April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, he died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, Shasta County, California. Haggard was buried in a private funeral at his ranch on April 9, 2016; longtime friend Marty Stuart officiated.