Charlie Daniels Dies; Country Music Legend Was 83

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Sad news out of the music world today.

Charlie Daniels -- the singer, songwriter and fiddle-player who scored a number of chart-topping hits over the course of a career that spanned seven decades -- has passed away at the age of 83.

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Daniels' management team confirmed that he died on Monday morning at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee.

He had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke several days earlier.

Daniels began playing music professionally in the 1950s, and his skill with several instruments -- most notably the fiddle -- led him to record with such legendary artists as Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.

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But it was as a frontman that Daniels would really make a name for himself.

He formed his eponymous band in he early 1970s and released his first album soon after.

In 1979, Daniels won his only Grammy for his biggest hit, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," an ambitious crossover classic that still receives regular airplay more than 40 years after its release.

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The song showcased Daniels' lyrical wit, as well as his inimitable talent with the fiddle, an instrument that -- up to that point -- was seldom heard on mainstream rock radio. 

While Daniels is still most closely associated with the world of country music, he proudly defied categorization throughout his career.

"I'll give you a little breakdown of our band," Daniels said in 2001.

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"We played with the Rolling Stones years ago in Memphis, in the afternoon and flew down to Austin, Texas, that night and worked the Willie Nelson picnic."

While "Devil" would remain Daniels' signature tune for the remainder of his life, he scored a number of other hits such as "Long Haired Country Boy" and "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye."

On Twitter, friends, family, and a legion of fans have been posting loving tributes to Daniels' character and monumental talent.

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"The country music flag is flying at half mast today. RIP Charlie Daniels," tweeted singer Luke Combs.

"Lost an amazing man and entertainer today. Rest In Peace, Charlie Daniels," Darius Rucker echoed.

Daniels is survived by his wife, Hazel, and his son, Charlie Jr.

Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this immensely difficult time.

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