Charlie Louvin: 1927-2011

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Country music legend Charlie Louvin died early this morning. He was 83.

Nashville radio station WSM-AM has confirmed to Paste the news after receiving word from his wife, Betty. Louvin died at approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning from complications stemming from his bout with pancreatic cancer.

Additionally, Nashville entertainment reporter James Carter confirmed in an e-mail to Paste that Louvin died in his home. “His wife confirmed it to WSM radio about 5am,” Carter wrote. “He has been suffering various medical problems over the last year… Funeral services pending.”

Louvin had been an active musician since the 1940’s, and was most notably recognized for his work with the Louvin Brothers. He spent the bulk of the past four-plus decades as an influential country singer, releasing 19 albums as a solo artist. “That’s the thing about The Louvin Brothers; they were dead serious,” Emmylou Harris told Paste in a 2007 feature. “The unadorned simplicity they used in their storytelling is the heart of what songwriters are trying to do.”

In 2001, Louvin was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for his work with the Louvin Brothers. He had written music as recently as three years ago, releasing two albums, Ships to Heaven and Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs, both of which were released in 2008.

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