The Country Music Hall of Famer died at his home near Redding, CA this morning after battling double pneumonia. He turned 79 today.
He was diagnosed with pneumonia last year and spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Riverside early this year.
After releasing the album "Django and Jimmie" with Willie Nelson last year, the pair had scheduled a string of concert dates this year and we were hopeful that his health had improved.
Last week Haggard canceled most of his shows for the rest of the year due to focus on his recovery. His manager told TMZ that "Merle was weary from battling pneumonia for so long ... and had even predicted to friends he would die on his birthday."
Such sad news and a huge loss to the country music community.
Here's one of our fave classics.
RIP Merle :(