Rest in peace, Glen Campbell. The country music icon has sadly died at age 81, a rep for Glen’s record label, Universal Music Group, confirmed to Rolling Stone magazine on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The news of the singer’s passing comes just more than six years after Glen publicly revealed in June 2011 that he was battling Alzheimer’s disease and was retiring from performing.
In a recent interview, Glen’s 30-year-old daughter, Ashley Campbell, opened up about her famous father’s health and revealed he was also suffering from aphasia, causing him to no longer be able to speak or understand language. “My dad is in his own world now. He knows I’m there and I think he recognizes me as familiar, but I don’t think he recognizes me as Ashley, his daughter. But sometimes as I sit playing and singing to him, he will close his eyes… and kind of smile,” she told The Mirror in June.
Glen in the late 1960s.
“It takes him a while but he will even start tapping his toe. Occasionally, he starts singing too. We don’t know what he’s singing as it’s gibberish and not even what I’ve been playing,” Ashley continued. “But there is still a beautiful melody. It is dad’s voice and it gives me, my mom and brothers, a connection to him again. My dad still has music in his soul and that’s a real blessing.”
During a 2014 interview with Closer Weekly, another one of Glen’s daughters, Debby Campbell-Cloyd, recalled a sweet memory about visiting her father in his assisted living facility and dancing with him to a Barbra Streisand song. “Dad started to two-step with me, and I began to lead because I thought he wouldn’t know what to do,” she told Closer. “He stopped dancing and said, ‘You don’t lead — I do!’ See, my dad was totally there.”
Glen with his daughter Ashley in 2012. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Throughout his more than 50-year music career, Glen was known for his hit songs including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” just to name a few. He released 70 albums and sold 45 million records during his lifetime. Our thoughts are with Glen’s family and friends following the sad news of his passing.