Charlie Daniels, best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.
Charlie Daniels, best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83. Daniels' death was confirmed by his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, on Monday morning.
Daniels has been active as a singer and musician since the 1950s, and he has long been considered a national treasure, raising funds and later performing at the 1977 inauguration of then-President Jimmy Carter.
"That is true, I was there. That was still one of the greatest nights in Washington DC. It was the most down-home night with Billy and Jimmy, and going up there and having a good ole time," Daniels readily recalled in a 2018 interview.
"I've been very blessed by the good Lord to be able to do what I do, and to do what I love, and to continuing performing, which I will continue to do as long as the good Lord sees fit," Daniels said at the time.
"And I am, first and foremost, a Christian; I do my best everyday to follow Jesus and do the will of the Father, and then, I am so blessed and grateful to the all the fans, because they've honored and rewarded me with a good life and allowing me to do what I love to do."
Daniels, who performed in Hope, Arkansas, during his 2018 tour that included Dubuque, Iowa, and St. Louis, Missouri, said, "You know, the size of the venue doesn't matter to me, its the size of the heart and the size of the show, and I always bring my best; that is what the fans deserve, and nothing less."
Best known for his hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979, Daniels has endued as a multi-talented showman, playing the fiddle, the guitar, and performing vocals that amazingly sound the same today as they did in 1979.
Even his voice and tone are instantly recognizable, no different than the popular Skoal commercials he did back in the 1980s.
"I am who I am, and I've always said find out who you are and be that person, no matter what," Daniels said.
Although being known as a Country music star, Daniels and his music have often defied labels; he actually won a Dove award for Gospel music, and he crossed over into Southern rock with songs like “South’s Gonna Do It Again,” and "The Legend of Wooley Swamp."
He was also known for American-based anthems, with songs like "In America" and the poignant "Still in Saigon." And, he played fiddle in collaboration with another famous Southern Rock group, the Marshall Tucker Band, in the mid-1970s.
"I would say that my musical influences have been every where. I got my start in Bluegrass, and over the years, I've admired and performed so many different styles of music," he said.