BREAKING NEWS ABC News: President Trump to pick Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court seat Full Story

Country singer Earl Thomas Conley dies at 77

Earl Thomas Conley on stage circa 1970s; Photo Credit: Michael OCH Archives/Getty Image

Country singer Earl Thomas Conley, who had 18 number one hits and influenced dozens of artists, has died.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 7:29 PM

(CNN) -- Country singer Earl Thomas Conley, who had 18 number one hits and influenced dozens of artists, has died.

Conley, 77, died Wednesday in Nashville where he had been in hospice care, his brother, Fred, told CNN.

"We are heartbroken," Carol Scates, Conley's life partner of 20 years, said. "The light has dimmed but his light will shine on in his music."

Conley topped the charts in the 1980s with hit songs including "Holding Her and Loving You," "What I'd Say" and "Right From the Start."

Scates told CNN that Conley's creative talents transcended music.

"A lot of people don't realize he was not just an artist who performed music, but he was a very talented artist who painted and sculpted," she said.

Conley was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1941 and was the third of eight children.

"He could create anything with his hands," Scates told CNN. "When he was a little boy, they didn't have toys. He carved the toys they played when he was little."

He was rejected from art school so decided to join the Army instead, according to his biography on allmusic.com. In 1968, he was honorably discharged and started pursuing his music career by playing at night clubs in Nashville.

Throughout his career, he released 10 albums and had more than 30 songs on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

Fellow country artists shared tributes of Conley on social media.

"My heart is absolutely destroyed today... I'm sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning," Blake Shelton tweeted. "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..."

"He was a huge influence on my style and songwriting," Big & Rich's John Rich tweeted."I studied his records like text books and could play every note of every song. Truly one of the all time greats in country music."

Chad Cooke Band from Texas posted a video paying tribute to Conley by singing his song "Fire and Smoke."

"We are deeply saddened by Earl Thomas Conley's passing," the Country Music Association tweeted. "Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."

He is survived by three children. His body is being donated to Vanderbilt Medical School, his brother said.

There is not a memorial scheduled at this time.

Huntsville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Florence
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Fayetteville
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
Tuscaloosa7496119
Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
Calhoun346641
Etowah342047
Morgan325428
Houston278123
Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
Walker228483
St. Clair227837
Talladega212728
Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
Jefferson109714
Macon103520
Warren10267
Monroe102217
Lawrence101211
Hardin100516
Lauderdale95915
Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
Bledsoe8494
McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
DeKalb55213
Crockett52919
Marion5187
Decatur5037
Fentress4713
Claiborne4405
Campbell4314
Polk38210
Grainger3633
Union3471
Benton3349
Jackson3175
Morgan3113
Unicoi2831
Cannon2800
Grundy2685
Humphreys2443
Sequatchie2293
Meigs2233
Clay2205
Houston2083
Scott2072
Stewart1902
Lewis1851
Moore1641
Van Buren1600
Perry1490
Pickett1102
Hancock1063

Community Events