Glen Campbell, the country singer and entertainer who sold more than 50 million albums during a career that spanned over a half century, died Tuesday after several years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Campbell was 81.
“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, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” a statement read on Campbell’s website. “Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; 10 grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace ‘Shorty’ and Gerald.”
Campbell was one of the most popular pop-country crossover singers in the second half of the 20th century, scoring more than 20 hits in the Top 40 and topping 25 country Top 10 singles. In the ’60s, he released four platinum selling albums for Capitol Records, including his 1967 breakthrough LP Gentle on My Mind and his signature 1968 record Wichita Lineman.
Campbell’s hit singles were mainstays of the easy listening radio formats during the cultural upheaval and musical revolution of the late-60s and early-70s, and his work often lacked widespread critical acclaim during the height of his fame, but in his later years, the singer began to receive an outpouring of accolades. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005, honored at the Country Music Awards in 2011, and earned a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2012.