Country Pioneer Ray Price Loses Battle With Cancer
The genre-shaping artist passed away at his ranch in Texas aged 87
Ray Price, one of the most enduring voices in country music, has sadly passed away following a year-long battle with cancer. The country crooner died in peace at his ranch in Texas in the company of his loved ones on Monday, 16 December, having left the hospice he was being treated at late last week so that he may die in comfort. He was 87-years-old.
Price's death was confirmed by country radio veteran Bill Mack, who had been serving as a spokesperson for the Price family during Ray's final days, when he took to his FaceBook account to leave a touching message on behalf of Price and his family. He wrote, "Ray Price passed away at 4:43PM today, Monday. Yes, there are tears. However, I must mention once again the fact that Ray was aware of your strong concern, love and prayers."
Mack's FaceBook comment also relayed a statement from Ray's wife, Janie Price, who thanked Ray's fans for their support and revealed that memorial services honouring Price will be held across Dallas in the coming days. Her message read, "Thank you. I also want to insert my personal gratitude to you. I will post updates as received from the family. Services will be held in Dallas. It's been a busy few days, but your messages kept me completely refreshed. You people are special!"
Price's career as a musician stretches back over 65 years, with the venerable artist maintaining an ardent fan base since his early years as a musician. His recordings stretched from honky-tonk to western swing and Price was always at the cutting edge of what country music fans wanted from the 1950's onwards. A strong man up to his final hours, Price embraced his fate after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late last year and stayed positive until the end. Choosing to spend his final days in comfort and in familiar surrounding, he left the care of a Texan hospice in order to see out his final moments in the comfort of his own home.
In a touching tribute to his fans, Ray issued a farewell statement for his devout followers just last week, as he attempted to put their collective minds a ease following his decision to leave hospital care. He said in his message to fans, ""I love my fans and have devoted my life to reaching out to them. I appreciate their support all these years and I hope I haven't let them down. I am at peace."