Country singer Earl Thomas Conley, known for hit songs including “Holding Her and Loving You,” “What I’d Say” and “Right From the Start,” died Wednesday in Nashville.
USA Today reports that Conley’s brother, Fred Conley, confirmed his death. He had suffered from a condition similar to dementia and had been in hospice care for several months.
“He just kept losing ground,” Fred Conley told USA Today. “I’m brokenhearted.”
Conley, 77, had been a huge influence on current country singers during his career that included 10 studio albums, 30 singles and 18 No. 1 hits.
His death was particularly devastating to country superstar Blake Shelton, who tweeted that his heart “was absolutely destroyed” after learning of the news.
My heart is absolutely destroyed today… I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest… pic.twitter.com/W75ZVV6fbe
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) April 10, 2019