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Roy Clark of ‘Hee Haw’ Fame Has Passed Away

Charlie Daniels, Keith Urban and others took to Twitter to express their grief over the loss of the legend

The country music world lost one of its all-time greats this week when Roy Clark passed away.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist passed away in his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home on Thursday morning due to complications from pneumonia, as the Associated Press and other outlets have reported.

He was 85 years old.

Clark is best known for hosting the nationally syndicated television show “Hee Haw” for 24 years from 1969 to 1993, a variety show which also featured its fair share of country music and comedy along the way.

Thanks to his performance there, Clark earned seven CMA Awards from 1970 to 1980 in four different categories: Comedian of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year (alongside Buck Trent), and Instrumentalist of the Year. In 1982, he also received a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for his cover of the song “Alabama Jubilee.” Clark was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

Clark was capable of playing a variety of instruments. In addition to his singing, he could play the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and more. Thanks to these abilities, he was able to perform alongside elite orchestra groups. Not only did he play with the Boston Pops, but he did a music tour in the Soviet Union in 1976 — during the Cold War.

Some of the country music industry’s top acts took to social media on Thursday afternoon to express their grief over Clark’s death.

Keith Urban noted how Clark helped inspire him to become a country musician.

“My first CMA memory is sitting on my living room floor watching Roy Clark tear it up. Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did,” said Urban.

Brad Paisley wrote on Twitter, “Roy Clark shaped my path. My Papaw introduced me to his music as a toddler. Every Saturday we’d watch ‘Hee Haw.’ My first guitar book was a Roy Clark guitar method. I practiced his style, then practiced making his facial expressions. He was a hero. And so many have the same story.”

Fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels also offered his condolences, tweeting, “Just got word that Roy Clark has passed. I’ve known him for 60 years and he was a fine musician and entertainer. Rest in Peace Buddy, you will be remembered.”

Comedian Larry the Cable Guy (real name Daniel Whitney), who has dabbled in comedic country music, paid his respect as well.

“Roy Clark was a very sweet Man that loved Jesus and country music,” he tweeted. “Heaven just got a great picker! Can’t wait to see him do some pickin’ and grinnin’ on them heavenly hay bales.”

Check out Roy Clark performing in the video below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.