Country star Glen Campbell has died, aged 81

His family have confirmed the sad news in an official statement

Country star Glen Campbell has died, aged 81.

A representative for his record label, Universal, confirmed that the musician had passed away earlier today (August 8).

In a statement, Campbell’s family said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”

In a career that spanned six decades, the musician released 21 Top 40 hits including ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’, ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’, as Rolling Stone reports.

Campbell sold over 45 million records worldwide and even managed to outsell The Beatles in the year of 1968.

He was born in Billstown, Arkansas in 1936 and moved to Los Angeles in 1962 where he joined the Wrecking Crew group of sessions musicians. With them, he played on records by the likes of The Byrds, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and The Righteous Brothers.

In 1964, he joined the Beach Boys on tour when Brian Wilson was no longer capable of playing bass and singing high harmonies following a breakdown. He released his own first hit in 1965  – a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘Universal Soldier’.

Campbell was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2005 and released his final album ‘Adios’ earlier this year. It features covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Harry Nilsson among others, which were recorded on his farewell tour in 2014.

Tributes have begun to the musician following the confirmation of the news. Dolly Parton posted a video on her Twitter page talking about Campbell’s talents. She captioned it: “Glen Campbell was one of the greatest voices of all time. I will always love you, Glen!”

Sheryl Crow wrote: “Huge loss in the world of music today. Rest In Peace, Glen Campbell.”

Peter Frampton tweeted: “As well as your incredible musical abilities you were one of the most down to earth ppl I have ever known.”

See those tweets and more below.