The multi-instrumentalist suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at the Hermitage in the state of Tennessee, and was pronounced dead on Monday, his publicists said.
With the eponymous Charlie Daniels Band, he and the instrument with which he is most strongly associated – the riddle – were at the forefront of a new genre of southern rock.
His most famous hit, “The Devil Went to Georgia” in 1979, is still important on classic rock stations.
Although mostly associated with country music, Daniels once told CNN he doesn’t like wearing any labels.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, nearly 40 years into his professional career. By 2016, Daniels had earned entry to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Many of his songs are rooted in patriotism and his deep admiration for the United States, which he often called “the greatest country in the world” in his music.
In 1980, he published “In America” in response to the Iranian hostage crisis.
More than 30 years later, his openness prompted him to retire from a country freedom concert in Nashville, which paid tribute to rescuers on Sept. 11.
Daniels planned to present a new single, “This is not without a rag, this is a flag,” but concert organizers referred to the lyrics of the song, which included “This is not a rag, and the flag is and we don’t wear it on our heads.”
But the song by which she will be known forever is “The Devil Has Traveled to Georgia,” a stellar, protruding ‘bluegrass’ draped between the devil and a young country boy named Johnny for his last soul.
The song spent weeks on the charts, eventually going platinum. A year after its release, it was shown in the film “Urban Cowboy,” introducing it to an even wider audience. More recently, he has been featured in the “Guitar Hero” video game.
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