Country Music legend Charlie Daniels, best known for his monster hit ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ in 1979, died a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday. He was 83 years old.
According to a press release from his representatives, the acclaimed Country Music Hall of Fame and a member of Grand Ole Opry died at the Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn., where doctors determined his cause of death.
Daniels has received numerous accolades and honors over his long career in music, including his entrance to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and being a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He also won the Dove Award for gospel albums and the coveted Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a duo or a band.
While The Charlie Daniels Band had many hits and remained a staple in Country Music Radio, his most enduring hit was the story of a young man named Johnny, who challenged the devil to a fiddle-playing contest and walked away with a violin made of gold.
In addition to his music, Daniels was a key advocate of a number of causes that were close to his heart, including supporting the U.S. Army with the Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew, to help veterans.
Daniels also worked closely with the Jason Foundation, a Nashville-based non-profit organization that began with a father who had lost his teen son to suicide. Previously, Daniels said that after looking at the data, he knew he could help veterans and needed to educate people about how close we might be to the tragedy at any given time.
According to The Tennessee, Daniels has survived his wife, Hazel, and his son, Charlie Daniels, Jr.
Daniels, a singer, guitarist and violinist, started out as a session musician, even playing the “Nashville Skyline” sessions of Bob Dylan. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured endlessly, sometimes performing 250 shows a year.
Daniels performed in the White House, in the Super Bowl, across Europe, and often in the Middle East.
He played himself in the 1980 John Travolta film “Urban Cowboy” and was closely identified with the rise of country music produced by that film.
Daniels, a resident of Wilmington, N.C., worked as a Nashville recording guitarist on several Bob Dylan records in the late 1960s, including “New Day” and “Self-Portrait.”