Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. Sept 9th: In less than 24 hours, the news of the death of country music ace, 78-year-old Don Williams, has shattered the social media, recording more than 60 million tweets. Notable among celebrities that are mourning the award winning country singer is Kenny Rogers, who tweeted: “Sending my sincere and heartfelt prayers to the families & friends of Don Williams’’.
A statement by his publicist, Mr. Kirt Webster, said Don Williams died on Friday after a short illness.
Williams had a string of hits before retiring in 2016. His mellow sound influenced a later generation of singers including Joe Nichols and Josh Turner and Keith Urban has said Williams drew him to country music.
Williams, nicknamed ‘the Gentle Giant,’ had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. He toured sparingly, did few media interviews and spent much of his time on his farm west of Nashville.
“It’s one of those blessings and curses kind of things,” Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1994.
Some of his hits included I Believe in You, Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good, You’re My Best Friend, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, Till the Rivers All Run Dry and Back in My Younger Days.
At least one duet with Emmylou Harris made the charts, If I Needed You in 1981.
In his tweet, Margo Price, said: “Rest In Peace to the Gentle Giant, Don Williams. Man knew how to burn that slow groove. May have to work up ‘Tulsa Time’ this weekend.’’
Brothers Osborne: “ RIP Don Williams. 100% class and spirit. Said so much with so little. He was and will always be a blessing in country music.’’
Photo: Don Williams
Grand Ole OpryVerified said about Don Williams, “it was an honor to witness your greatness on our stage. Your music will continue to inspire all of us. Rest easy Gentle Gian”.
Don Williams, it was an honor to witness your greatness on our stage. Your music will continue to inspire all of us. Rest easy Gentle Giant. pic.twitter.com/tSBRS13T1p — Grand Ole Opry (@opry) September 8, 2017
Donald Ray Williams is an American country singer, songwriter, and 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 number one country hits. He was born on 27 May 1939, Floydada, Texas, United States. His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and imposing build earned him the nickname: “Gentle Giant” of country music.