Country legend Porter Wagoner dies

Musician passes away after suffering lung cancer

Country legend Porter Wagoner died yesterday (October 28) in Nashville after suffering from lung cancer.

Wagoner was 80 years old, reports BBC News.

Famed for his rhinestone suits and his US TV show which ran for 21 years until 1981, Wagoner was credited with helping to launch the career of Dolly Parton.

From 1967-74, Parton performed duets with Wagoner until finding worldwide fame as a solo singer.

In 2002, he was inducted into the Country Hall Of Fame and marked his 50th year at Nashville venue the Grand Ole Opry in May.

Pete Fisher, the general manager of the legendary Nashville concert hall, said: “His passion for the Opry and all the country music was truly immeasurable.”

Country singer Dierks Bentley said: “The loss of Porter is a great loss for the Grand Ole Opry and for country music, and personally it is a great loss of a friend I was just getting to know.”

He invited Dolly Parton to perform with him on his programme and their partnership earned them a Country Music Associations’s duo of the year award in 1970.

After the partnership dissolved and Parton found solo fame, Wagoner sued her for £1.45m (3m). The dispute was settled out of court in 1980.

In 1982, Wagoner said that his show had been a “training ground” for Parton in which she “learned a great deal and I exposed her to very important people and the country music fans.”

Speaking in 1995, Parton blamed the split on creative differences, saying: “I was creative and Porter was different.”

Earlier this year, Wagoner called Parton “one of my best friends today” while she visited him in hospital.

This year he was a support act for The White Stripes at New York’s Madison Square Gardens.