Don Williams has passed on. The Country Music Hall Of Famer died from a short illness at his home in Alabama aged 78, according to his publicist. His imposing height and warm voice earned him the title “Gentle Giant.” According to Fox News, the singer had 17 No. 1 hits and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 before he retired in 2016. His sound inspired a later generation of singers including Josh Turner, Joe Nicholas, and Keith Urban.

Don was loved for his music from all over the world

He was known for his heartbreaking voice, gentle delivery and how he told his stories.

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He did a few media interviews, toured sparingly and spent most of his time in his Nashville farm. He remained one of the best country musicians for decades and enjoyed a huge following from all over the world, especially from Kenya and New Zealand.

Following the tragic news, fans, friends, and fellow musicians paid tributes to the legend on social media.

He was born and raised in Texas

He won many many awards for his talent, and Kyle Young, CEO of Country MusicThe Hall of Fame said that his music will always be a remedy in troublesome times, Don Williams was born in Floydada, Texas in 1939 and raised in Portland. Hi learned to play guitar through his mom, and his father managed his furniture store and began performing in Corpus Christi with Lofton Kline. Later, they met singer Susan Taylor and formed a group called Pozo-Seco Singers. The group was based in Nashville, and it earned two Top 40 songs, “Look What You’ve Done” and “I Can Make It With You“ in late 1966.

He got signed as an artist in JMI Records

Afterwards, the group was disbanded, and William began his solo career which would make him a major influence.

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Jack “Cowboy” Clement signed Don as a songwriter to his publishing company, where he recorded demos for Allen Reynolds. Later on, Clement signed him to his JMI Records as an artist, and his universal appeal was evident after he released his first single “Don’t You Believe,” in 1972. “We Should Be Together,” another single, was released in 1974 and became his first Top Five hit. Later in the year, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me” a romantic single, topped the charts.

Some artists paid tribute to the legend this year by performing his songs

He will be remembered for hits like “I Believe In You Lord,” “You Are My Best Friend,””I Hope This Day Is Good,” “Till The River All Run Dry,” “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” and “Back In My Younger Days.” He also appeared in the films “Smokey and the Bandit II” and “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings”. He released his last album in 2014 and this year Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks, and Chris Stapleton paid tribute to the singer by performing his hits. During his last performance in 2016, William told his audience that it was time to retire and relax at home and was thankful to his family, friends, and fans for their love and support. Rest In Peace Don Williams.