Country Music

Glen Campbell Dead at 81

Glen Campbell has died.
Glen Campbell has died. Maria Vassett
Legendary country music star and former Arizona resident Glen Campbell died on Tuesday, August 8, in Nashville. The 81-year-old musician who sang "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Rhinestone Cowboy" had battled Alzheimer's disease since 2011.

Campbell's family shared the news in a statement on the late artist's website. "It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," the statement reads, in part.

The Arkansas-born musician, actor, and TV host's storied career spanned six decades.

Campbell won 10 Grammy Awards, released more than 70 albums, and sold more than 45 million records. He worked with the Beach Boys, Jimmy Webb (who wrote "By the Time I Get to Phoenix), and Paul Westerberg, among many others.


He moved to Arizona in the 1980s and owned a home in Phoenix's Biltmore Estates with his wife, Kim. In 2003, Campbell was arrested for extreme DUI and got a notably light sentence. He performed for Tent City inmates at the conclusion of his 10-day detention.

Campbell retired in 2013, shortly after going public with his Alzheimer's diagnosis and performing a farewell tour. The acclaimed 2014 documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me takes a close look at the artist coping with Alzheimer's.

His final record, Adiós, features covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Fred Neil, and Roger Miller. It was Campbell's 64th studio album.

In a 2012 interview with New Times, Campbell pondered the afterlife.

"I was pretty wild there for a while, but I got straightened out," Campbell said. "Especially with my marriage. So, I'm pretty sure I'll make it to heaven."

"Of course," he added, "that's on one condition. That, between now and then, I don't mess things up. Barring that? I'll be fine, man."


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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski