Speed Reads

RIP

Singer Glen Campbell dies at 81

Singer and guitarist Glen Campbell, the Grammy winner behind such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman," died Tuesday, following a "long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," his family announced in a statement. He was 81.

Over a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold more than 45 million records, and before making his own albums he was a famed sessions player, appearing on such hits as Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." In 2011, Campbell revealed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and he embarked on a farewell tour, playing 151 shows.

Campbell was born in Billstown, Arkansas, in 1936, and picked up a guitar as a child. He dropped out of school at 14 and went with an uncle to Wyoming, where they played together at bars. After finding success in Los Angeles as a musician, Campbell moved to television, hosting The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour from 1969 to 1972. He was married four times, and has five sons and three daughters. You can learn more in Matthew Walther's appreciation for Campbell, the "most underappreciated musician in America."