Country Music Legend & 'Rhinestone Cowboy' Singer Glen Campbell Dies, Aged 81

Glen Campbell in the documentary'I'll Be Me

Glen Campbell in the documentary'I'll Be Me

His story of his first guitar, told to the Daily Mail in a 2008 interview, had his father customizing a Sears model that needed a capo, a device used to shorten the strings.

He was just 4 when he learned to play guitar.

In 1954, he joined his uncle's Dick Bill's band, the Sandia Mountain Boys. He became part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew, the famed session band that played on numerous world's biggest hits at L.A.'s Gold Star Studios, creating the producer's legendary "Wall of Sound". "He was like a child with a new toy". He opened for the Doors and sang and played bass with the Beach Boys as a replacement for Brian Wilson, who in the mid-'60s had retired from touring to concentrate on studio work.

But Campbell was dominant on the country chart, with his heart-piercing voice fueling more than two dozen top 10 hits and five No. 1s. "Country Boy" was Campbell's fifth straight number one hit on the Easy Listening chart, but its schmaltzy veneer masks one of Campbell's deepest declarations of anxious introspection and self-doubt. Wichita Lineman became his only No. 1 LP.

There's been a lot of compromisin' on the road to Glen Campbell's horizon, but he's gonna be where the lights are shinin' on him.

But meet we did, and his self-deprecating humour, humility and praise for others who he credited for his success won me over.

The song collected a Grammy and became much requested by U.S. soldiers fighting in Vietnam.

From 1969-72, the Delight, Ark., native hosted the CBS variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and he starred as young Texas Ranger La Boeuf in True Grit (1969) after being handpicked by John Wayne to star opposite him in the Hollywood icon's lone Oscar-winning role. The singer's sunny disposition and musical eclecticism set the tone for the series, which, until it ended in June 1972, paired him with the likes of Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Dionne Warwick, Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, John Hartford, Cher, B.J. Thomas, Ricky Nelson, Bobbie Gentry, Jerry Reed, the Smothers Brothers, Roger Miller and dozens of other contemporary talents.

GettyTanya Tucker watches as Glen Campbell performs on SiriusXM's Elvis Radio and Outlaw Country channels in 2011. Jimmy wrote the title track and recently ended his Australian shows with the song.

Campbell sold over 45 million records worldwide and even managed to outsell The Beatles in the year of 1968.

There was another smash in 1977, - Southern Nights - but both his career and personal life began to slide.

After Campbell's second wife, Billie Jean Campbell, filed for divorce in 1975, Campbell later revealed he had been using cocaine.

He turned to alcohol and drugs for solace.

In addition, the star appeared in the 2014 documentary I'll Be Me, which was based around the man's struggle with the incurable disease.

"But later on, I didn't have any stability".

His death brought tributes from country music stars.

Since 1982, Glen has been married to Kimberly "Kim" Woollen.

"I got down on my knees and prayed".

Latest News