Ray Price - best known for City Lights and Heartaches by the Number - has died aged 87.
Ray Price, one of the best loved country singers of all time, has died aged 87 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The singer entered hospice care on Thursday, leaving a message for fans that read, "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."
Ray Price Was One Of The Best Loved Country Stars
The country radio veteran Bill Mack - who has been acting as a spokesman for the family - confirmed on Facebook that Price has died. "Ray Price left for heaven at 4:43 PM Central Time," he wrote, "He went in perfect peace."
Price's musical careers spans 65 years and he is often considered one of the most versatile performers in country music history - his output ranging from honky-tonk to western swing.
Born in Texas in 1926, Price enlisted in the Marines where he stayed for two years. He began performing on local radio and moved to Nashville after signing a contract with Columbia Records. His first five releases failed to fly, but his 1952 track Talk To Your Heart climbed to No.3 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs.
One year later, he formed the band the Cherokee Cowboys which at one point would feature Willie Nelson and Price developed his signature sound, the 4/4 shuffle.
His biggest hits would include City Lights, Crazy Arms and Heartaches By The Number - the latter of which is often considered one of the best country songs of its generation.
Ray Price Developed A Signature Sound
Price was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and continued to record from time-to-time, appearing with Rascal Flatts on the 2011 Anna Wilson CD Countrypolitan Duets.
Love Songs in Nashville, his final album recorded during his battle with cancer, is due out in 2014.
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