Charlie Daniels, Country Music Hall of Famer, Dead at 83

The "Devil Went Down to Georgia" singer suffered a stroke

Charlie Daniels performs during FOX News Channel's "FOX & Friends" All-American Summer Concert Series on June 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Charlie Daniels performs during FOX News Channel's "FOX & Friends" All-American Summer Concert Series on June 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / July 6, 2020 3:21 pm

Legendary fiddler Charlie Daniels, best known for his 1979 song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at the age of 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, according to his publicist.

Daniels co-wrote an Elvis Presley song, “It Hurts Me,” in 1964, and he made a name for himself as a session musician in the ’60s, playing on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and Leonard Cohen’s Songs From a Room, before signing to Capitol Records and releasing his self-titled debut in 1970. The Charlie Daniels Band earned a Grammy in 1980 for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

In 2008, Daniels was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and in 2016, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Charlie Daniels was a reverential innovator. He was a fiddle-playing bandleader, like King of Country Music Roy Acuff. His music fused the immediacy of Southern Rock with the classic country storytelling that he heard as a child in Wilmington, North Carolina,” Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said in a statement. “He brought new audiences to country music, pointing people to the sources even as he explored the edges. He was also a delight to be around, always with wife Hazel at his side. Just as fiddler Johnny did in the famous song, Charlie Daniels beat the Devil.”

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