Legendary Country Singer-Songwriter Earl Thomas Conley Dies at 77

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Blake Shelton broke the news on social media, reporting that Conley died early Wednesday morning. “My heart is absolutely destroyed today,” Shelton wrote on Facebook. “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…”

The Voice judge wrote with his longtime hero and Michael Pyle for his 2002 hit “All Over Me.” In addition to Shelton, several other country stars paid their respects to the late singer on social media.

“So sad to hear #EarlThomasConley passed away today,” Big & Rich’s John Rich shared on Twitter. “He was a huge influence on my style and songwriting. 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.”

Conley, well known for his country hits in the ‘80s and early ‘90s including “Holding Her and Loving You,” “What’d You Say” and “Right From the Start,” had been in hospice care for several months while suffering from a condition similar to dementia, The Tennessean reports.

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SOURCE: Billboard, Annie Reuter