Country Icon Merle Haggard Dead at 79

Country Icon Merle Haggard Dead at 79
Legendary country icon Merle Haggard has passed away today (April 6) on his 79th birthday.

The performer died of double pneumonia, which he was diagnosed with last year. He spent 11 days in the hospital last year, and even cancelled some tour dates in an effort to recover. He died at home early this morning.

Haggard was born in Oildale, CA, and eventually helped create the Bakersfield sound with his group the Strangers.

Throughout his career, Merle Haggard put out 49 solo albums, in addition to Christmas and gospel recordings and collaborative efforts.

His last solo release was 2011's Working in Tennessee. He also teamed up with Willie Nelson for last year's Django & Jimmie.

Haggard was married five times and had six children throughout his long and storied life.