Glen Campbell Dead at 81

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It’s with a heavy heart we report that Glen Campbell has died at 81.


The following statement was posted on his website today (August 8, 2017):

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.

A personal statement from Kim Campbell will follow.

The family appreciates your prayers and respect for their privacy at this time.

Glen Campbell’s career spanned six decades, during which he sold more than 45 million albums. He was born in 1936 in Billstown, Ark., the seventh of 12 children. By 1962 he had already become one of the most sought after studio guitar players in Los Angeles, appearing on the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,” Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.”

In 1964, following Brian Wilson’s breakdown, the Beach Boys called Glen in to replace him on bass and high harmonies. “I took Brian’s place and that was just … I was in heaven then – hog heaven!” the singer remarked.

In 1967, Glen had his first hit with the Jimmy Webb-penned “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” From there, the hits kept on rolling as he released “Galveston,” “Gentle on My Mind” and “Wichita Lineman.”

After guest hosting the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1969, Glen was given his own variety show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” where he featured artists such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. The show ran from 1969 to 1972. During this time, Glen also flexed his acting chops, staring opposite John Wayne in the original “True Grit.”

Glen’s final album, Adiós, was released earlier this year. “A new Glen Campbell album coming out in 2017 might seem a bit odd since he hasn’t performed since 2012, and even more odd – if not absolutely amazing – when you consider that he has Alzheimer’s disease,” Kim Campbell said in a statement. “Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011. A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio one last time to capture what magic was left. It was now or never.”

As noted above, Glen was married four times and fathered five sons and three daughters. In 1982, he married his fourth wife, Kimberly Woollen, a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, who helped the singer overcome his alcoholism and cocaine addiction. They were married until his death.

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