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Country music legend Merle Haggard dies on 79th birthday

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Posted at 11:48 AM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 14:20:30-04

REDDING, Calif. – Country music legend Merle Haggard has died after battling pneumonia, according to his manager.

According to TMZ, the “Okie from Muskogee” star passed in his Redding, California, home Wednesday morning on his 79th birthday.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia last year and was in the hospital for almost two weeks earlier this year.

The performer had recently canceled some upcoming tour dates because of the illness.

He recently performed in West Wendover at the Peppermill Concert Hall back on Feb. 5.

Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

He recorded more than three dozen No. 1 country hits in a musical career that spanned six decades, from the 1960s into the 2010s.

The singer overcame an early life of crime and a prison term in San Quentin to develop a rugged, outlaw image that helped sell millions of records.