Wednesday (April 6), the world lost a legend.
Merle Haggard passed away on his 79th birthday at his home surrounded by family. His agent, Lance Roberts confirmed with CNN that the cause of death was complications from pneumonia, which he had been batting off and on since December 2015.
He was hospitalized late last year for double pneumonia and once Haggard was released, he said he was “really lucky to be alive“.
He was forced to reschedule December shows to February, but then rescheduled those shows, needing more time to recover.
He was well enough to perform on Wednesday, February 10 in Santa Rosa, California and to our knowledge, it may have been one of his last recorded performances.
He seemed as sharp as ever, introducing “Okie From Muskogee” with, “We’re gonna do a song about marijuana right now”.
He continued to tell a few jokes before playing one of his most iconic songs. Watching this video makes us remember why the world fell in love with him all the way back in 1963.
This performance means so much more knowing that his youngest son, Ben, was standing behind him playing lead guitar, and his wife, Theresa, was singing backup.
He did what he loved up until the very end of his life, and he wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Watch Merle Haggard perform “Okie From Muskogee” for what possibly could have been the very last time.