Charlie Daniels, the iconic country music superstar behind "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," has died at the age of 83. Daniels died after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, confirmed. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels, Jr.
Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1936, Daniels spent his youth listening to gospel and bluegrass music and playing baseball. He would go on to enjoy a long and illustrious career in the country music industry, and is even a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In the early years of his music career, he played on albums by artists such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and the Marshall Tucker Band. He also co-wrote the song "It Hurts Me," which was recorded by Elvis Presley. Daniels put out his first solo album, self-titled, in 1970. He released more than 30 studio albums throughout his career, with the last being 2016's Night Hawk.
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of Country Music's legendary musicians, @CharlieDaniels. We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends during this sad time. pic.twitter.com/U4Fb3HZvzI— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) July 6, 2020
Daniels was passionate and outspoken about many political issues, and in 2019 he spoke exclusively to PopCulture.com about his work supporting military veterans, specifically by hosting the annual Veteran Impact Celebration. "It is a place for veterans to come and for one thing, to just get together and be with like-minded folks that've been through the same thing," he explained. "They've been to Afghanistan and been to Iraq and been to whatever the pressures of wars or the pressures of just being in service in general are. There's job placement, there's teleconferencing, there is health care available if they need it."
All the proceeds from the event go to MTSU's (Middle Tennessee State University) Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. Daniels went on to say that purpose of the organization is "to do whatever the veterans need." He added, "There's a pretty good size veteran population, veteran student population here and we're just trying to help them transition back into civilian life." The proceeds were presented through Daniels' Journey Home Project, which the country music legend founded to help veterans from all over the country with whatever needs they may have. "There's some pretty unique problems involved," he said, later adding, "We're an extension of it more so than it being an extension of us because it's bigger than we are."