Country music legend Merle Haggard died this morning at his California home on his 79th birthday.
According to TMZ, Haggard’s manager has confirmed that the singer died of double pneumonia, which he had been diagnosed with last year. He spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage earlier this year in the hopes of treating the illness, but it forced him to cancel various tour dates in March.
Over the last few weeks, Haggard seemed to be recovering, and even scheduled a few tour dates with friend Willie Nelson. Unfortunately, the illness came back with a vengeance, and he recently had to cancel his April tour dates.
Haggard’s manager reported that the legend was tired of battling pneumonia, and had predicted to his friends that he would die on his birthday.
A Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in 1994, Haggard will forever be remembered for revolutionizing the world of country music. Rest in peace, Merle, and God bless you!