R.I.P. Country Hero Don Williams

The Country Music Hall of Fame member known as the "Gentle Giant" was 78
R.I.P. Country Hero Don Williams
Don Williams — the Country Music Hall of Fame member known as the "Gentle Giant" — has died. The musician passed away Friday (September 8), his rep confirmed. Williams was 78.

According to his rep, Williams died following a short illness.

"In giving voice to songs like 'Good Ole Boys Like Me,' 'Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,' and 'Amanda,' Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days," said Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young in a statement. "His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant."

The Texas songwriter began his music career with the Pozo Seco Singers in the mid-'60s, only to later go solo the following decade. He went on to make 17 No. 1 hits in his career, with some of his highlights including "Tulsa Time," "She Never Knew Me" and "I Wouldn't Want to Live if You Didn't Love Me."

His biggest hit, though, came in 1981 with "I Believe in You," which reached the top of the country charts and No. 24 on the Hot 100.

Williams' "Gentle Giant" nickname came from both his towering stature, as well as his smooth, easygoing singing style.

He was inducted into the the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Following a series of health issues in 2016, he was forced to postpone a tour in order to have hip replacement surgery — something that led the tour to be cancelled and for Williams to announce his retirement from performing live.