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Glenn Campbell, the iconic country/pop singer and guitarist, who moved and delighted untold millions with his music and songs over six decades, died Tuesday at the age of 81. He passed away after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease, his family announced in a statement.
Over his recording career, Campbell released more than 70 albums. He released his very first single, “Turn Around, Look at Me” in 1961, which made it to number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. Versions of that tune has been released by groups, the Lettermen, The Bee Gees, and the Vogues.
Through the sixties, Campbell performed several hits, including “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I get to Phoenix,” “Witchita Lineman,” and “Galveston.”
By 1969, Campbell had his own variety show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS. The show went on four four seasons, from 1969 to 1972.. Despite the end of the show, he would be a regular on a multitude of other network variety shows for decades.
In the mid-seventies, Campbell would hit the Billboard charts again with two #1 smash hit singles, “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and Summer Nights.” Rhinestone Cowboy.” Both songs remain popular to this day and the tracks are regularly heard on various shows and films.
Campbell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and continued releasing albums. In 2011, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and a short time later went on his farewell tour, with three of his children in his backup band.
At the end of his final tour in November 2012, Campbell, would spend his time in a Nashville studio, where he put together his last album, “Adios.” The album remained a secret until April of this year, then the album was finally announced and the twelve songs, mainly cover songs by artists such as Bob Dylan and Harry Nilsson, were released in June.
Campbell spent his final years in an assisted living facility, with his children spending days with him playing his old songs.
In four marriages, Campbell had eight children, five sons and three daughters, the first in 1956, and the last in 1986.