Merle Haggard Dies on His 79th Birthday: The music world has lost an icon: Merle Haggard died Wednesday on his 79th birthday, reports TMZ. He'd been fighting double pneumonia since last year. Haggard was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and as ABC23 notes, he "won just about every music award" over a career that gave him 40 No. 1 hits. Perhaps his biggest, "Mama Tried" from 1968, was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry earlier this year. Haggard was a big part of the "outlaw" country movement with the likes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings.
Hat tip to Deb.