Music legend Glen Campbell dies at age 81

Oscar Cross
August 12, 2017

Campbell left home at the age of 14, performing on radio and television in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before landing in Los Angeles in 1960.

Glen Campbell has died at 81, leaving the music industry in a state of mourning.

At the time, I didn't know that he was likely in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Shortly after recording his deeply personal album, "Ghost on the Canvas" in 2011 Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. By the mid-1990s he'd taken up residence at the Glen Campbell Goodtime Theatre in Branson, Mo., where he performed regularly.

Glen Campbell was one of Keith Urban's musical idols, so the superstar was thrilled when he got the chance to actually jam with the legendary guitarist and singer in 2009.

"I've never met a more talented person in all the years we have been in the music business and never had a better time on tour than the time spent with Glen", Love wrote.

In the 24 hours since news of Glen Campbell's death broke on Tuesday afternoon, tributes have poured in for the legendary singer, whose career spanned five decades and saw him sell more than 45 million records.

He won another two Grammy Awards in 1968 for the best album By The Time I Get To Phoenix and best record Wichita Lineman.

He began a late-career renaissance in 2008 through his collaboration with producer and songwriter Julian Raymond, who persuaded Campbell to record a diverse batch of songs by younger, hipper artists, including Green Day, Tom Petty, the Replacements and U2. Webb had written several more songs for his friend, including the title song of his final album, Adios, which was released in June.

The documentary, which chronicled his 2011-2012 farewell tour, offered a poignant look at his decline from Alzheimer's while showcasing his virtuoso guitar chops that somehow continued to shine even as his memory unraveled. This was all despite Campbell being unable to read music. It opens with, "I'm still here/ But yet I'm gone".

The film, which generated the Grammy-winning song, I'm Not Gonna Miss You, showed the star still instinctively fluent on the guitar yet struggling to remember lyrics and set lists. He is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell, and eight children.

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