Remembering the Country Legends We Lost in 2020

Country music said goodbye to many of its brightest stars in 2020, with their contributions spanning generations. From groundbreaking artists like K.T. Oslin and Charley Pride to perennial favorites like Charlie Daniels and Kenny Rogers, each of them will be greatly missed by fans and fellow artists alike.

Here, we remember the country legends we lost in 2020.

Charlie Daniels

A Grand Ole Opry member and Country Music Hall of Fame member, this outspoken country star brought equal passion to fiddling and veterans organizations. (Read more.)

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Mac Davis

We got hooked on this ACM Entertainer of the Year’s country crossover sound, not to mention compositions like “In the Ghetto” and “Texas in My Rear View Mirror.” (Read more.)

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Joe Diffie

There’s something everybody likes about this pickup man. His novelty hits will get stuck in our head forever, while songs like “Home” echo the country classics. (Read more.)

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Jan Howard

A Grand Ole Opry star for 49 years, she made her mark as a solo artist, duet partner, songwriter, advocate for the armed forces, and storyteller of traditional country music. (Read more.)

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Hal Ketchum

Blessed with a husky voice, a persuasive baritone, and an ear for good songs, this former cabinet maker’s music will stay forever in the hearts of ’90s country listeners. (Read more.)

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K.T. Oslin

She wrote from a woman’s perspective, though anybody could hear hits like “80’s Ladies” or “Hold Me” and understand exactly where she was coming from. (Read more.)

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Charley Pride

With a warm personality, true country voice, and self-proclaimed “permanent tan,” this Country Music Hall of Fame member and Opry star made us smile for 50+ years. (Read more.)

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John Prine
One of Nashville’s most insightful and inventive songwriters, he will go down in history for creating (with Steve Goodman) the most perfect country & western song. (Read more.)

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Harold Reid, The Statler Brothers

A booming bass and deadpan comic timing endeared this entertainer on FM radio dials and TNN alike. The group is deservedly enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame. (Read more.)

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Kenny Rogers

Whether this iconic Country Music Hall of Fame member was singing about gamblers, dreamers, or even young baseball players, we believed very word. (Read more.)

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Billy Joe Shaver

This hardscrabble Texas songwriter built his reputation with “Honky Tonk Heroes” and “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal,” but his best eulogy may be “Live Forever.” (Read more.)

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Doug Supernaw

Sung from the perspective of a divorced father, “I Don’t Call Him Daddy” still gives us all the feels, recalling a time when story songs ruled the airwaves. (Read more.)

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Jerry Jeff Walker

With 1973’s landmark ¡Viva Terlingua!, we can imagine the atmosphere of a Texas dance hall. Meanwhile, “Mr. Bojangles” will carry on his songwriting legacy forever. (Read more.)

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We also say goodbye to some of country music’s finest songwriters:

Johnny Bush (“Whiskey River,” recorded by Willie Nelson)

Bryan Wayne Galentine (“What If She’s an Angel,” recorded by Tommy Shane Steiner)

Alex Harvey (“Delta Dawn,” recorded by Tanya Tucker)

Roy Head (“Treat Him Right,” recorded by Barbara Mandrell; originally written as “Treat Her Right”)

Larry Johnson & Craig Martin (“Don’t Take the Girl,” recorded by Tim McGraw)

Troy Jones (“People are Crazy,” recorded by Billy Currington)

Ramsey Kearney (“Emotions,” recorded by Brenda Lee)

Bill Mack (“Blue,” recorded by Leann Rimes)

Felix McTeigue (“Anything Goes,” recorded by Florida Georgia Line)

David Olney (“Jerusalem Tomorrow,” recorded by Emmylou Harris)

Fuzzy Owen (“The Same Old Me,” recorded by Ray Price)

Ray Pennington (“I’m a Ramblin’ Man,” recorded by Waylon Jennings)

Glenn Ray (“I Just Came Home to Count the Memories,” recorded by John Anderson)

Gary Walker (“Trademark,” recorded by Carl Smith)

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