Family and friends of country music icon Mel Mcdaniel have confirmed the singer/songwriter died of cancer.
The Grand Ole Opry member passed away at his home in Tennessee on Thursday (31Mar11). He was 68.
MCDaniel began performing professionally when he was a teenager, working the club circuit in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.
He later moved to Alaska and became the state's adopted country music son.
His recording career took off in the early 1970s when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and he landed a recording contract with Capitol Records in 1976, just before he charted in America with the single Have a Dream on Me.
His signature tune, Louisiana Saturday Night, became a hit in 1980.
MCDaniel was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1986. His last Opry appearance took place on 28 September, 2010, when the fabled Tennessee venue reopened after sustaining flood damage in May.
Darth Vader is back and James Earl Jones will once again provide the villain’s voice.