BREAKING: Country Music SUPERSTAR Dead At 78- Please Send Your Prayers

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Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams has died after a short illness, his representative announced. He was 78.

After beginning his career in Nashville in the late 1960s and signing a songwriting contact in the early 1970s, Williams made his chart debut with “The Shelter of Your Eyes” in 1973.

Over the course of his decades-long career, the so-called “Gentle Giant” of country music recorded hits like “Tulsa Time,” “Good Ole Boys Like Me” and “It Must Be Love.” Williams earned 17 No. 1 country hits throughout his career, according to People.

His mellow sound influenced a later generation of singers including Joe Nichols and Josh Turner.

Keith Urban has said Williams drew him to country music.

Williams was celebrated for his rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. Still, he toured sparingly, did few media interviews and spent much of his time on his farm west of Nashville, Fox News reports.

His hits included “I Believe in You,” ”Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,” ”You’re My Best Friend,” ”Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” ”Till the Rivers All Run Dry” and “Back in My Younger Days.” At least one duet with Emmylou Harris made the charts, “If I Needed You” in 1981.

“Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in a statement Friday. “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.”

He won the Country Music Association’s awards for best male vocalist and best single for “Tulsa Time” in 1978.

During his performances, he often walked onstage carrying a cup of coffee, sat on a barstool, sang and chatted amiably with the audience.

Williams also appeared in the movies “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings” and “Smokey and the Bandit II.”

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, but missed the ceremony because he had bronchitis. His last studio album came out in 2014 and he was the subject of a tribute album this year that included performances of his hits by Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton.

Williams was born in Floydada, Texas, and spent the early part of his career in rock, country and folk groups. He was a founding member of the Pozo Seco Singers, then started a solo career in 1971. His first No. 1 hit was “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me” and 42 of his 46 singles landed on the top 10 from 1974 to 1991.

According to People, Williams said during his final performance in 2016, “it was time to hang up his hat and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”

“Rest in peace Don Williams
You left us a lot great musical memories”

“So sad to hear that “Gentle Giant” Don Williams has died! What an incredible legacy of great music he leaves behind. May he RIP.”

“Oh man! One of my all time favorites Don Williams passed away. Such great tunes. Gonna miss him but keep him alive on my playlists.”

Funeral arrangements are still pending for the star, according to his publicity firm.

Our thoughts and prayers go out hid family, friends and fans.

Rest in peace my brother…

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