Country singer Slim Whitman has passed away - the yodelling great of American country died in peace at a hospital in Jacksonvillle, Florida on Wednesday (19 June). Known for his distinctive high-pitched yodel, Whitman enjoyed a string of hits between the 1950s and 70s, selling more than 120 million records worldwide.

Whitman was well-known internationally as well as in America with perhaps his biggest song, the 1955 track 'Rose Marie,' being the longest reigning U.K. number one single for almost 40 years until the record was beaten in 1991 by Bryan Adams. Although his fame faded as the years went on, he continued to tour the world and record new music as recently as 2010, when he released his final album Twilight on the Trail.

In the past few years, Whitman's health became increasingly fragile and in 2008 he had to dispel rumours that he had passed away. At the time, a number of online reports were stating incorrectly that the singer had passed away, with his friend and fellow country singer George Hamilton IV even reading out a eulogy on stage. He said at the time, "I knew it was a lie. I can still sing. And if you're dead, you can't sing."

Unfortunately the day when he stopped singing has come, however his songs won't be forgotten for years to come. He was married to his wife Alma for 67 years prior to her death in 2009 and during their marriage the couple had a daughter Sharon, and a son Byron, who survive the singer.