Glen Campbell has passed away at the age of 81. He was survived by his wife Kim and 8 children.
Campbell had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for the past few years. In his time, Glen sold more than 45 million records, he even outsold the Beatles in 1968.
“Some people have said that I can ‘hear’ a hit song, meaning that I can tell the first time a song is played for me if it has potential,” he once said to Rolling Stone. “I have been able to hear some of the hits that way, but I can also ‘feel’ one.”
Campbell won 4 Grammy awards for country and pop music and earned the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1968.
Campbell spent nearly 50 years entertaining the world through movies, television, and radio until an Alzheimer’s diagnosis forced him into retirement in 2012. Glen struggled to remember the lyrics to many of is songs and some of his newest material was lost all together. After a “Goodbye Tour” with three of his children in the backup band, Glen left the spotlight and entered a long-term treatment facility that provides care for Alzheimer’s patients.
Glen’s battle with this terrible disease steadily grew worse leaving Campbell unable to communicate with other people. According to a Rolling Stone article from March of 2016, he could neither speak nor understand what others were saying to him. His Nashville, TN treatment center reported that he had entered the final stages of the disease and was not expected to survive for much longer.
Against all odds, Glen fought on for more than a year. His official website released a statement calling his last days a “long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”
His two oldest children, Debby and Travis, had been banned from seeing their father by his current wife Kim. The distraught children sought legal action and were granted a huge victory when Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Campbell/Falk Act into law on May 16th, 2016. The legislation, named for Campbell and Columbo star Peter Falk, grants visitation rights to the family of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar dementia without the consent of their legal conservator. Falk’s daughter faced a similar situation to Campbell’s children after her stepmother prevented her from visiting her father before his death.
Earlier in 2017 Glen released his final studio album Adiós, a collection of cover songs recorded after his Goodbye tour. “Almost every time he sat down with a guitar, these were his go-to songs,” said his daughter Ashley in an interview with Rolling Stone Country.
Take a moment to remember Glen with one of his all time greatest hits, 1975’s Rhinestone Cowboy, in the video below.
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