Country legend Merle Haggard has passed away on his 79th birthday

Grammy award winning country singer Merle Haggard has passed away at his Californian home on his 79th birthday.

Passes Away

After a long struggle with illness, Merle Haggard took his last breath while surrounded by family and friends.

According to Pitchfork, Haggard was hospitalised earlier this year with pneumonia, which he had been suffering with for a lengthy amount of time. Upon his passing, Haggard’s son took to Facebook to share a small message.

A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn't wrong. A hour ago he took his last breath…

Posted by Ben Haggard on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Haggard has been a constant in the country music scene since the 1960’s. He scored his first top 20 single Sing Me A Sad Song in 1963, which saw him soar across the US, claiming a massive 37 top 10 singles in 1967. Haggard went on to ultimately have 40 number one country singles over his career. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2006.

Since his passing, floods of tributes have been shared from the likes of Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr and Tim McGraw.