On Thursday, June 23, 2016, bluegrass legend and Grand Ole Opry member Ralph Stanley died at the age of 89.
“My heart is broken into pieces. My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago,” wrote his grandson Nathan on Facebook. “He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with Skin Cancer. I feel so lost and so alone right now. He was my world, and he was my everything. He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you. If he was singing snd on sage, he was happy. That’s why I did so much to make it possible for him to travel in the last two years. Because he wanted to. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to face in my life. The only thing that gives me peace, is knowing he is in paradise and I’ll see my best friend again. I love you papaw with all of my heart. As long as I live and breathe, your legacy will never die. You will forever be in my heart.”
Though he had a long and established career, Stanley won a Grammy for his performance of “O Death” for the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack in 2000.
Read more about his life and career here.