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Country music icon Merle Haggard has passed away at the age of 79.

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson:

According to a statement from his manager, Haggard suffered a recurrence of the double pneumonia that hospitalized him last year.

The legendary singer/songrwriter rebounded in recent weeks, and at the time of his death, he was planning a tour with frequent collaborator Willie Nelson in support of the Django and Jimmie album the duo released last year.

Haggard was forced to cancel those shows last week due to health problems, and he passed away this morning on his 79th birthday

After a troubled youth that had him in out of correctional facilities from a young age the "Okie from Muskogee" experienced a transformative moment at the age of 21 when, as an inmate, he got to experience Johnny Cash’s legendary concert at San Quentin State Prison.

Haggard decided then to devote himself to writing songs, and the years that followed would take him from the penitentiary to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

With a string of hits such “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Branded Man,” “Sing Me Back Home,” and “Mama Tried,” Haggard quickly became one of the top-selling artists in country.

His collaborations with Willie Nelson resulted in such classic albums as 1983’s Pancho and Lefty and 2015’s Django and Jimmie, both of which reached the top of the country charts.

Haggard became a trending topic on Twitter within moments of when the news of his death went public, and heartfelt tributes are currently pouring in from famous friends and his many devoted fans.