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Country singer Earl Thomas Conley dies at 77

Earl Thomas Conley with Blake Shelton. | Facebook

Country singer Earl Thomas Conley, known for hit songs including “Holding Her and Loving You,” “What I’d Say” and “Right From the Start,” died on Wednesday in Nashville, his brother Fred Conley confirmed.

Mr. Conley suffered from a condition similar to dementia, his brother said, and had been in hospice care for several months.

“He just kept losing ground,” Fred Conley said. “I’m brokenhearted.”

Mr. Conley helped influence today’s generation of country singers. Upon hearing of his death, Blake Shelton tweeted that his heart was “absolutely destroyed.”

“Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend,” Shelton said. “Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest…”

Read more at usatoday.com.