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Charlie Louvin Dies at 83

Charlie Louvin
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Country music icon Charlie Louvin passed away last night due to complications from pancreatic cancer. Louvin’s wife, Betty, confirmed to Nashville’s WSM radio that he died around 1:30AM on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Last July, Louvin announced that he was battling stage two pancreatic cancer. He underwent surgery that same month at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center; however, the surgery did not go as well as the Louvin family had hoped. For the past few months, Louvin had been experimenting with alternative methods to battle the disease.

Born as Charlie Elzer Loudermilk on July 7, 1927 in Henegar, Ala., both he and his brother Ira sang in their church’s choir when they were younger. The pair later worked in the fields and in the cotton mills near their home.

When they were teenagers, the two formed the Louvin Brothers and began performing at a Chattanooga, Tenn. radio station. The duo quickly grew in popularity due to their penchant for country and gospel songwriting and their creation of beautiful harmonies.

In 1955, the Louvin Brothers’ ‘When I Stop Dreaming’ became their first song to enter the Top 10 on the country charts. That same year, the brothers performed at the Grand Ole Opry for their first time and were also invited to tour with Elvis Presley as the King’s opening act. Although the Louvin Brothers parted ways in 1963, their music has lived on to this day with hits such as ‘Knoxville Girl’ and ‘I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby.’

In 1965, Ira Louvin tragically died in an automobile accident. Although Charlie was shocked and saddened by the death of his brother, he went on to have a successful solo career with songs like ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ and ‘Only Way Out (Is to Walk Over Me).’

The Louvin Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Although Charlie Louvin was 83 when he died, he was still working hard up until his time of death — he released his album ‘The Battle Rages On’ in November 2010. Charlie Louvin will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Louvin family during this emotional time.

Watch the Charlie Louvin ‘Ira’ Video

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