Country + Southern Rock Legend Charlie Daniels Dead at 83
Charlie Daniels, best known as the author of the southern rock/country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," has died at the age of 83.
The Country Music Hall of Fame legend died of a hemorrhagic stroke this morning (July 6) at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee as confirmed on the Charlie Daniels website.
The prolific musician, who has 30 studio albums to his name, the most recent being 2016's Night Hawk, had overcome numerous medical issues in the 21st century. In 2001, Daniels was successfully treated for prostate cancer and 12 years later it was determined he required the use of a pacemaker after medical tests had been run on him following a pneumonia diagnosis.
While Daniels was a committed country star through and through, his influence over heavy music is undeniable. In 1979, the Charlie Daniels Band released the controversial "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," pre-dating the "Satanic panic" that would come to dominate U.S. news headlines the following decade, amid the rise of heavy metal and its demonic themes.
The classic song, which comes off the Charlie Daniels Band's 10th album, 1979's Million Mile Reflections, tells the tale of a despondent Devil who had arrived in Georgia. Behind on his soul-stealing, he makes a wager with fiddle-player Johnny, offering him a golden fiddle if he can best the "Man Downstairs" in a contest. Ultimately, the song landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and remains the most popular song released by the group.
3 Doors Down frontman Brad Arnold posted a photo on Instagram, crediting Daniels with saving his life. According to WRIF's Meltdown, Daniels reportedly talked Arnold into giving up alcohol while they were on a flight together.
Our condolences to the Daniels family and all who knew the iconic musician.
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