Glen Campbell is dead. The legendary country singer died on Tuesday morning in Nashville, Tennessee. The story was confirmed by Campbell’s website, who released a statement saying “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81.” Read the full statement here.
But how did the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer die?
According to TMZ, Campbell died from complications owing to Alzheimer’s Disease. At the time of his death, was residing in a Nashville faculty for Alzheimer’s patients. Rolling Stone reports that Campbell was diagnosed with the disease in 2011 at the age of 75, and promptly announced his retirement from music.
His daughter Ashley Campbell spoke on the devastation that the disease causes families in a senate hearing in 2013. Watch below.
Earlier this year, Ashley also spoke to Rolling Stone about her father’s condition: “My dad is currently living in a beautiful memory care facility, and he is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. He has aphasia, so he can’t really communicate” she explained, “He can’t really understand language as we do. I kind of look at it like he can’t really receive information. He hears just fine – he doesn’t need a hearing aid – he just has trouble processing what he hears.”
She went on to say “He doesn’t really use language much anymore, but we look on the bright side [because] in these late stages of Alzheimer’s, it could be very bad,” she says. “It could be confusion and anger a lot of the time, which is the case for a lot of people I’ve seen. But for him he’s just happy every day, smiles, he enjoys life and he enjoys being around people – and he loves a good piece of cake.”
The singer’s wife, Kim Campbell, is scheduled to speak at The Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County luncheon in Tyler, Texas this coming November about the challenges faced by people living with the disease and their families.
During his five decades in show business, Campbell released over 70 albums and sold over 45 millions records worldwide. As of 2017, he has 12 RIAA Gold Albums, four Platinum albums, and one Double-Platinum album. His most notable songs include “Gentle On My Mind” , “Galveston” , and his signature hit, “Rhinestone Cowboy.” He also hosted the variety show The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour from 1969 to 1972.
Campbell released his final album, appropriately titled Adios, earlier this year. The album was recorded after the singer’s Goodbye Tour, and consists mainly of cover songs. You can purchase it on iTunes here.
Fans, friends, and Campbell’s own daughter has taken to social media to pay their respects. Check out some of the most heartfelt reactions below.