US country singer Glen Campbell, best known for the song Rhinestone Cowboy, has died aged 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 … following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” his family announced on Facebook.
Campbell is best remembered for a string of country-inflected hits that ran from the mid-’60s to the late ’80s: “Gentle on My Mind,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Southern Nights” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” with two of them – “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights” – hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
But Campbell was a US TV star as well, hosting variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969 to 1972. He had taken over the time slot of the controversial Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the summer and ended up with a surprise hit.
In 1976 he hosted Glen Campbell Down Home Down Under with guests Sherbet, Olivia Newton-John, John Mellion, Bill & Boyd and Bill Foster.
The Glen Campbell Music Show also aired in 1982.
There were acting roles in Players, Christmas in Disneyland, Strange Homecoming, The FBI plus True Grit, Norwood and Any Which Way You Can.
His 2014 documentary, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me showcased his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease on his final tour.
The US Alzheimer’s Association mourned Campbell’s death, saying he and his family “helped to bring Alzheimer’s out of the shadows and into the spotlight with openness and honesty that has rallied people to take action on behalf of the cause.”