Merle Haggard has died. He was 79 years old.
The country music legend passed away at his California home Wednesday morning after a battle with double pneumonia. He was first diagnosed with pneumonia last year, and then spent 11 days in the hospital in January after he was diagnosed again.
Last week, Haggard canceled his scheduled tour dates with Willie Nelson after he became sick.
After years of singing hits like “Okie from Muskogee” and “Silver Wings,” Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. When he got on stage to give a speech, he unraveled a five-foot-long list of people he needed to thank, starting with his plumber.
One of his most famous songs, “Mama Tried,” reflects on Haggard’s own life in a way. He was incarcerated in the San Quentin State Prison in 1967, where he was first influenced to sing because of a Johnny Cash show.
Today was Haggard’s 79th birthday.