In less than 24 hours, the news of the death of country music ace, 78-year-old Don Williams, has shattered the social media, recording more than 60 million tweets.
Notable among celebrities that are mourning the award winning country singer is Kenny Rogers, who tweeted: “Sending my sincere and heartfelt prayers to the families & friends of Don Williams’’.
You'll be missed, Don. Thanks for the songs that will live on.https://t.co/lNbWB6Qemk
— Kenny Rogers (@_KennyRogers) September 10, 2017
A statement by his publicist, Mr. Kirt Webster, said he Don Williams died on Friday, September 8, 2017 of emphysema.
Williams had a string of hits before retiring in 2016.
His mellow sound influenced a later generation of singers including Joe Nichols and Josh Turner and Keith Urban has said Williams drew him to country music.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Joy Bucher; and their two sons, Gary and Timmy, and four grandchildren.
Williams, nicknamed ‘the Gentle Giant,’ had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. He toured sparingly, did few media interviews and spent much of his time on his farm west of Nashville.
“It’s one of those blessings and curses kind of things,” Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1994.
Some of his hits included I Believe in You, Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good, You’re My Best Friend, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, Till the Rivers All Run Dry and Back in My Younger Days.
At least one duet with Emmylou Harris made the charts, If I Needed You in 1981.
In his tweet, Margo Price, said: “Rest In Peace to the Gentle Giant, Don Williams. Man knew how to burn that slow groove. May have to work up ‘Tulsa Time’ this weekend.’’
Rest In Peace to the Gentle Giant, Don Williams. Man knew how to burn that slow groove. May have to work up 'Tulsa Time' this weekend…
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) September 9, 2017
Brothers Osborne: “RIP Don Williams. 100% class and spirit. Said so much with so little. He was and will always be a blessing in country music.’’
RIP Don Williams. 100% class and spirit. Said so much with so little. He was and will always be a blessing in country music.
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) September 9, 2017
..Some broken hearts never mind,
Some memories never end,
Some tears will never dry,
My Love for you never dies..
RIP icon Don Williams 😇🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/fPkQAgjVGu
— #9jaWitches 👻🇳🇬 (@badgalmaddie_) September 9, 2017
2 legends lost at once. Troy Gentry and Don Williams will be missed so much. Praying for their families and may they rest in peace.
— Big & Rich (@bigandrich) September 8, 2017
Don Williams had a voice like the handshake from an old friend-just listened to GOOD OLE BOYS, and on and on! What a great soul – RIP Don
— Kix Brooks (@KixBrooks) September 9, 2017
Sad day in country music. I played Don Williams all the way home from NYC. He was grand. Rest peacefully stud. You'll be missed.-T
— Toby Keith (@TobyKeithMusic) September 9, 2017
Don Williams, the words you spoke, the songs you sang.. touched so many. Rest In Peace #gentlegiant
— Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) September 9, 2017
Country Music Legend Don Williams Dies At 78 , We gon Miss You Don 💔💔💔
RT if he Spiced Your Childhood pic.twitter.com/PesVjW9Vuj
— Enekem 💎 (@EnekemGreg) September 9, 2017
So saddened to hear we lost both Tory Gentry (Montgomery Gentry) and Don Williams. Sad day in country music.
— Cody Wolfe ™ (@CodyWolfeMusic) September 9, 2017
— billboard (@billboard) September 9, 2017
— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) September 9, 2017
God Bless Don Williams, Troy Gentry and Country Music. pic.twitter.com/wb393PRGdw
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) September 9, 2017
And Don Williams has passed… what a legend… this is truly a sad day for country music #RIP
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) September 8, 2017
Farewell, the great Don Williams. 'Those Williams boys, they still mean a lot to me/ Hank & Tennessee.' & Don, too. https://t.co/gaXjor8Ibh
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) September 8, 2017
Additional reporting by News Agency of Nigeria.