Country star Ray Price has died at the age of 87 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The ailing singer passed away on Monday (16Dec13) at his home in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. A family spokesman confirmed the news a day after reports wrongly suggested he had passed away over the weekend (14-15Dec13).
Taking to Facebook.com on Monday, veteran country radio DJ Bill MACk, who has been acting as a representative for the family in recent days, revealed that Price's wife, Janie, had called him to break the sad news.
MACk wrote, "Ray Price left for heaven at 4:43 PM Central Time. He went in perfect peace."
Price began his music career in the 1950s after a brief stint in the U.S. Marines, and has been an icon in the country music world for over 65 years.
His versatile sound won over many fans, as he excelled in everything from honky-tonk to western swing, and created some of the genre's most memorable tracks, including Release Me, You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes and Make the World Go Away.
In 1996, Price was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and his last album, 2007's Last of the Breed with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, peaked at number seven on the U.S. country albums chart.
Price was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, but valiantly made one last effort to record a final album, tentatively titled Love Songs in Nashville. The project is expected to hit retailers in 2014.
The singer suffered a health setback last week (09Dec13) when he was admitted to the intensive care unit at East Texas Medical Centre in Tyler, Texas, and family members confirmed his pancreatic cancer had spread to his liver, intestines and lungs.
Days later, the For the Good Times hitmaker decided he wanted to spend his final days at his Mount Pleasant property, and even released a heartfelt letter to his fans, thanking them for his support through his illness.
Price shared in a statement that reads: "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. I love Jesus. I'm going to be just fine. Don't worry about me. I'll see you again one day."