Aaron Tippin / Artists / Bill Anderson / Billy Ray Cyrus / Charlie Daniels / Christian Artists / Collin Raye / Darryl Worley / Jason Crabb / Jeannie Seely / Larry Gatlin / Lucas Hoge / Naomi Judd / Neal McCoy / Phil Vassar / Randy Travis / Ricky Skaggs / Steve Wariner / Tanya Tucker / Wynonna Judd

Artists and Industry Friends Reflect on Passing of Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels
Photo Courtesy of Wortman Works Media

The country music community is mourning the loss of the legendary Charlie Daniels who passed away yesterday. Artists and industry friends shared memories and statements upon learning of his passing. 

“This Legend, Charlie Daniels, was at the core of my roots and influences in music. We recorded “Just As I Am” together for his Gospel Album. “Oh lamb of God I come…I come,” sings the hymn. An honor to call him my friend. Fiddle is gonna be roaring in heaven tonight! #RIP”
–Billy Ray Cyrus

“One of my favorite people on this earth Charlie Daniels has gone on to his eternal reward today. Oh, how he will be missed at the Grand Ole Opry and everywhere else he was loved. Charlie, thank you for being a Patriot, a Statesman, a Christian, a friend, a father, a husband to Miss Hazel, and a great maker of music that will live on for generations. You made an indelible mark in this life, and you will be missed my brother.”
-Ricky Skaggs (Country Music Hall of Fame member)

“‘Charlie Daniels was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. He and Hazel have been two of my and Mary’s dearest friends over the past years. We laughed, cried and prayed together. Not only was he a gift to us, but to the entire world. A few years ago, Charlie had a colt born on my birthday and named him after me. The memories go on and on, so I’ll leave it at this — Charlie, thank you for everything you’ve done for me, your endless support of us, your unconditional love, and the sweet memories. It is my greatest honor to be your Country Music Hall of Fame classmate–you will live on forever as my hero… my friend. I love you.” – Randy Travis, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member

“Charlie Daniels was someone you could lean on at any time or ask his advice. I am so blessed to have known him as a peer, as a friend and performed with him many times. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” well, the devil never had a chance! And now Charlie is playing that fiddle with the heavenly angels in the Big Man’s band. Some day I’ll see you again, Charlie.”
–Tanya Tucker

“Every time I was around Charlie I felt like I was standing next to pure country. He sang about Faith, Patriotism, family and having good, clean fun. I’m so grateful that I got to meet and know a truly great man.”
–Naomi Judd

“I’ve always said that Charlie Daniels and his band were some of the best in country music. Boy were they tight! I was lucky to do many shows with the CDB. Each one was a huge treat. I was a fan first and then he became my friend. Charlie was a great person who loved Jesus & a patriot who loved his country. Another huge loss for our genre and shoes that will never be filled.” – Doug Stone

“Getting to open for Mr. Charlie was one of my very first memorable moments in country music. He’s an important part of my story. When Mom & I opened for Mr. Charlie in the 80’s, I was so young, so naive, and in awe of my heroes and sheroes in country music. I spent most of my time trying to talk to, hang out with and learn everything I could from the artists we played shows with. Mr. Charlie was always so kind to me. He always made me feel so important. His heart. Oh my. His passion for God and his country, it really was what made him such a gifted soul. I adore him!! He’d come over to me in a crowded room to hug me. He always made time for me and I respect him so much for the way he treated me and so many others in the room. During one of our moments backstage before a show, I was talking to Mr. Charlie about how nervous I was being onstage. He told me to “Never look at the empty seats.” I have not forgotten his words to me. Charlie Daniels is a maverick. His heart is bigger than most. He lived and he loved large!!!!! Thank you for your service to our great country sir. I love you so.”
–Wynonna Judd

“We are very sad today at the news of Charlie Daniels passing. Charlie was a great entertainer, great friend, and a great American.”
–Bellamy Brothers 

“Charlie was a big ol’ teddy bear…one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever known…with a wonderful sense of humor and a great outlook on life. I’ve played golf with him, shared the Opry stage with him, sat alongside him at the Titans football games, and always marveled at his talent and his tenacity. There’s a big ol’ hole in lots of our hearts today with the news of his passing.”
–Bill Anderson

“Charlie Daniels was a life force. His music was ancient and modern all at once and overlapped every genre. He was a giver to those in need and those who showed promise. A great patriot, an authentic American.”
–Dennis Quaid

“He was one of my biggest heroes. One of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. RIP my brother Charlie.”
–Phil Vassar

Charlie Daniels embodied the fire of the South. He blurred lines between rock and country, when rock didn’t think country was cool, and his Volunteer Jams weren’t just legendary, they brought people from both of those worlds together. He was a patriot, a proud American, a world class musician, an incredible showman, as well as a wonderful father, husband, grandpa and friend. We’re all so sad to lose him, but if I know Charlie, he’s up in heaven, rosining up his bow and getting ready to let those fingers fly! Godspeed, my friend, you’re home.”
-Ronnie Milsap (Country Music Hall of Fame member)

“If there were a Southern Rock/Country/GOD fearing Patriot/Good old boy on Mt. Rushmore, Charlie Daniels likeness would be hammered, chiseled, and blasted onto it. We would follow him into battle. We would not follow him on stage. We couldn’t… no one else could either…‘nuff said. Heaven has never rocked like its ROCKIN’ right now. Charlie old friend, we’ll see you when we do. Rock on, friend.”
-Larry Gatlin 

“Charlie Daniels’ work on Earth is done. While we will miss him and his talents here, we know he has gone home now. Rest In Peace, old friend. You are so loved. Sending love to Hazel and the entire family.”
–Steve Wariner

“It’s with a heavy heart that I am letting you know our good friend and Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels passed away this morning at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, TN from a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83. What a truly great man beyond just his obvious talents as a singer and musician. He was a force of nature and will be greatly missed.”
–Gene Watson

“Charlie was loved by absolutely everybody! He was a sweetheart that you loved to hug on and wanted to be around and man, when he took to the stage, he was fire! He will be missed and adored from down here till we see him again.”
–Jamie O’Neal

“We lost a country music legend today. I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Mr. Charlie Daniels but had quite a few friends who did, and all said the same of how an amazing of a Man he was as a musician and a person. I bet a band of angels in Heaven is gettin’ its fill today!!”
–Lewis Brice

“Not only was Charlie a legend in music, he was a true patriot and loved our country. It’s a sad day to lose such a great man.”
–Lucas Hoge

“Hearing the news of Charlie Daniels passing is shocking and heartbreaking. Charlie’s music will forever be a pillar, not only in Country Music, but in American Music’s history. He will be greatly missed.”
–Adam Sanders

“Charlie Daniels. He’s been a big part of the soundtrack of my life. He’s always been there since I was a kid. I can recall as early as 1973 when I first heard UNEASY RIDER. He had the gift of storytelling through his music and song, and he would tell the story in a way no one else could. My wife Robin and I spoke at length with Charlie just last Wednesday. It was a joy, as always, to have a heartfelt conversation with him.  He spoke of his music and the joy it has brought him to be able to share it with so many people for so many years, and he spoke of those he worked with that have help make it possible for him to have a career that he loves. And he spoke proudly of his son Charlie Jr. as well as the blessing of being married to Mrs Hazel for 56 years. As much as I will miss him, I know there are those that worked with him day in and day out, that really knew him so well, those that shared the stage with him, those that worked on his ranch and those that worked in the office making sure The CDB was ready to go.  I will pray for them today,  that the huge void that is left with the passing of Charlie Daniels will be filled with the what Charlie knew was the most important thing in life and in death, the love of Jesus Christ.”–John Berry

“I had just watched the special video message Charlie sent to me for my birthday and then got the devastating news of his passing. But I realize the greatest gift of all to me personally was his friendship. I was so happy when he became a member of our Opry family, because it meant we’d see him more often, and appearing on his Volunteer Jam was one of the highlights of my career. I admired his kind, gentle spirit, his support of our military, his love for our music, his community and our country. I just admired everything about Charlie Daniels.”–Jeannie Seely

 “My first Opry performances in Texas as a young 14 year old was singing “Devil Went Down To Georgia,” “In America,” and “The Legend of Wooley Swamp.” I have always been such a fan of Charlie and his band. A class act, a patriot, and one of the nicest men I have ever met. I know where he is now and it is glorious! Grace and peace be with his bandmates, family and friends at this time. Thank you Mr. Daniels for always being so kind to me over the years. Go rest high on that mountain that you have talked about so many times.”–Tim Rushlow

“I am beyond saddened today, hearing about the passing of the great Charlie Daniels. He was always a class act, a gentleman, a patriot, and a philanthropist. He was a friend who welcomed me to his home, at The Grand Ole Opry, and on any stage he played. He was a dedicated husband and Father to Hazel and Charlie Jr. He broke boundaries in the music world, because he never let genre fence him in. He was honored and revered in the Gospel, Country, Bluegrass, Southern Rock, Rock, and Blues world as a multi talented singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. I was honored to know Charlie Daniels and he will be missed so very much. He lived an exploratory life and will leave an indelible mark on the music world, his fans, and on humanity in general. There was nobody like him, but God…I wish there were. We all know Charlie has been welcomed into those pearly gates beyond a shadow of a doubt. His faith was strong as the day is long, and that gives us all some peace. Go rest high Charlie.”–Heidi Newfield

“It’s so hard to put into words what an influence Charlie’s music was on me and on everyone who ever heard it. He was an amazing man, musician, songwriter and entertainer. There was nothing he couldn’t do. He will be so missed in this world. Sending prayers to Hazel and all of his family.”
-Aaron Tippin
 
“Charlie Daniels was my friend. He was my friend on many levels and we had an unspoken understanding that if either of us ever needed the other, it was a given. Charlie was very bold about what he believed in and I am too. I’m gonna miss you old friend. I’ll tell you all about what happens when I get there. I love you and I miss you already but I’ll be there before you miss me. Say hello to Momma and enjoy your time till we meet again.”
-Darryl Worley

“This one hits me hard. Charlie Daniels was an inspiration to me as long as I can remember. As a kid, I listened to Charlie Daniels when I was learning guitar. Growing up as a young boy in Beaver Dam Kentucky, I could’ve never dreamed that I would ever share the stage with this man, let alone get to know him. He was an amazing entertainer, but more than that, he was a gentle man with a kind spirit and if you spent any time around him at all, you knew he loved Jesus, his country, and his family. We’re gonna miss you, Charlie Daniels.”  – Jason Crabb

“There are a few of us out here who are not scared to speak their mind and let folks know where they stand, especially on the love and respect for our country music and our country. With Charlie Daniels passing today, there is now one less. Always loved his passion for our USA and his willingness to speak up for it. God Blessed America with Charlie Daniels. Over the years, we worked together a lot and I sure was proud to call him a friend. He will be missed.” – Neal McCoy

“Deeply saddened by the news today of Charlie Daniels’ passing. Charlie Daniels was a true patriot, a man of God and a great American. To call him a musical icon is a gross understatement. A pioneer in the southern rock movement of the 70s, leading the Charlie Daniels Band, his bold and musically impressive songwriting, spawning legendary hits like ‘The South’s Gonna Do it Again,’ ‘Long Haired Country Boy,’ ‘In America,’ and, of course, ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ and many, many others that have already stood the test of time as some of the greatest, most iconic records in the history of rock-n-roll AND country music. I’m so incredibly honored to have been included in Charlie’s final music video of ‘Geechi Geechi Ya Ya Blues’ with his band, the Beau Weevils. I certainly didn’t expect it to be his last. Our industry has a huge void in it today. A great man of principal, honor, integrity and faith, who always told it like it is. There will never ever be another Charlie Daniels. My prayers go upward for his entire family. Rest in peace, Charlie.”
-Collin Raye

“I am very saddened to hear of Charlie Daniels’ passing. I have known and loved Charlie since our early days when he appeared on one of my television specials and l played his Volunteer Jams. Charlie was a strong man who loved his family, fans and country. The music community and the world have lost an old friend.” – Crystal Gayle

Charlie Daniels was a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock and bluegrass in addition to country. From his Dove Award-winning gospel albums to his genre-defining southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor, and a true road warrior, Daniels parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a spotlight supporting the military, underprivileged children, and others in need. The Charlie Daniels Band has long populated radio with memorable hits such as the signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

Over the course of his career, Daniels received numerous accolades, including becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, inductions into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Daniels helped to shine the spotlight on the many causes that are close to his heart. He was a staunch supporter of the military and gave his time and talent to numerous charitable organizations including The Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his long-time manager, David Corlew, to help veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

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