Country legend Charlie Daniels, longtime friend of the late Billy Graham, dies at 83

Country music legend Charlie Daniels died on July 6, 2020.
Country music legend Charlie Daniels died on July 6, 2020. | Twitter/Charlie Daniels via screenshot

Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels died from a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday. He was 83.

Daniels, known for his hit song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," was survived by his wife, Hazel, and son, Charlie Danielss Jr. His publicist Don Murry Grubbs confirmed his death.

The country legend, who had recorded with Bob Dylan and was a professing Christian, had talked about his close relationship with the legendary Billy Graham in the past. Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist, took to Facebook to share his condolences. 

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“I was surprised to learn that Charlie Daniels, a great American patriot and friend, passed away this morning. But he didn’t pass away as someone with no hope—Charlie had given his life to Jesus Christ years ago and he had the hope of Heaven!” Franklin wrote of Daniels.

“We can rejoice knowing that he is now in the presence of Almighty God and has been added to that great choir in Heaven,” he added. “Charlie Daniels will be greatly missed—even though we have a great loss, Heaven has a gain! Please lift up his wife and family in your prayers. 

Graham then shared a clip of the singer performing at Franklin’s 2016 Decision America Tour in Nashville, Tennessee.

Daniels openly talked about his faith in a 2014 article published by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The BGEA posted the article as a memorial on social media after news of Daniels’ death. The post revealed that he was “a longtime friend to the Graham family.”

“Billy Graham is one of my heroes and has been for a long time,” Daniels wrote in the article at the time. “I have the utmost respect not only for him but for the entire Graham family.”

Daniels also recounted the scenes he witnessed while watching Billy Graham's invitation to receive Jesus at the end of his crusades. 

“It’s almost like liquid draining down a big bowl, watching these people coming down from every direction, from all sides of the stadium, to confirm their acceptance of the Lord,” he added.

And, in a warning to Americans, Daniels urged people to bring God back into their lives. 

“If America don’t get God back into our daily lives and into our politics and into everything we do, we ain’t gonna make it. We’ve gone too far in the other direction,” he maintained. “We’ve tried everything else. We’ve tried every kind of sensual satisfaction. … We’ve tried following people who we thought had the answer.” Ultimately, he said, “God is the only real help we’ve got.”

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