country and southern rock star Charlie Daniels, dead at 83
Charlie Daniels, who bridged country and rock in the '70s and '80s, has died at age 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Best known for his massive 1979 hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (and more recently for his very right wing views), Daniels also spent years as a session musician in the '60s, and his credits included three Bob Dylan albums -- including Nashville Skyline -- and records by Leonard Cohen, Ringo Starr Al Kooper, and others.
“Charlie Daniels was a reverential innovator. He was a fiddle-playing bandleader, like King of Country Music Roy Acuff," said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame, in a statement. "His music fused the immediacy of Southern Rock with the classic country storytelling that he heard as a child in Wilmington, North Carolina. He brought new audiences to country music, pointing people to the sources even as he explored the edges. He was also a delight to be around, always with wife Hazel at his side. Just as fiddler Johnny did in the famous song, Charlie Daniels beat the Devil."