Stars pay tribute to Glen Campbell, after country singer dies aged 81

Musicians lined up to pay tribute to Glen Campbell last night after the Rhinestone Cowboy singer died at the age of 81.

Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, and country superstar Dolly Parton were among the first to pay tribute.

“An incredible musician and an even better person. I’m at a loss. Love & Mercy,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.

“I’m very broken up to hear about my friend Glen Campbell. An incredible musician and an even better person. I’m at a loss. Love & Mercy.”

Parton remembered Campbell as “one of the greatest voices of all time” in a heartfelt video shared on social media.

“Glen Campbell was special because he was so gifted. Glen is one of the greatest voices that ever was in the business and he was one of the greatest musicians,” she said.

“He was a wonderful session musician as well – a lot of people don’t know realise that but he could play anything and he could play it really well – so he was just extremely talented.”

Neil Portnow, Recording Academy president/CEO, said in a statement: “Six-time Grammy winner Glen Campbell was, and always will be, an American treasure. In a career spanning more than six decades, Glen contributed to countless hits as part of the renowned group of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.

“As an artist, his remarkable voice, top-level guitar work, and dazzling showmanship shot him to superstardom in the 1960s, and he became one of the most successful pop/country crossover artists of all time.

“Glen received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2012, our formal acknowledgment of his immense contributions to music and culture and we’ll always cherish his historic appearance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, one of his last performances. We have lost an icon who will be greatly missed, but Glen’s musical gifts will live on forever.”

Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO wrote: “Had Glen Campbell only played guitar and never voiced a note, he would have spent a lifetime as one of America’s most consequential recording musicians. Had he never played guitar and only sung, his voice would rank with American music’s most riveting, expressive, and enduring.

“He left indelible marks as a musician, a singer, and an entertainer, and he bravely shared his incalculable talent with adoring audiences even as he fought a cruel and dreaded disease. To all of us who heard and loved his soulful music, he was a delight.”

Campbell died at the age of 81 after “a long and courageous battle” with Alzheimer’s disease, his family said.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather,” their statement said.

The legendary guitarist announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011.

Rising from a poor rural childhood, Campbell went on to release over 70 albums and sell 45 million records.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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