As soon as I announced on social media that Charlie Daniels had passed away, my alerts went crazy until well into the night. So many of you were as heartbroken as I was. We are heartbroken. We loved Charlie. We all know the words to “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and “The South’s Gonna Do It” and “Long Haired Country Boy.” But for those of us who were lucky enough to share the same room with him – even if it was just seeing him pass by – it was like you had been graced by royalty. I just remember thinking, “I cannot believe I’m looking at THE Charlie Daniels!” He was captivating.
To those who were truly able to call him a friend, it's obvious that he was so beloved. He cared so deeply about our troops and what happened to them once they came back from war. Charlie was what so many have called a “true patriot” and even started a non-profit for our men and women of the military.
He was a man of faith.He was an incredible husband and father. But more than anything, his friends said that he was just so generous and kind. I’ve compiled some of the beautiful tributes and messages from country stars that you may know – and for those who were born after the year 2000, maybe some you don’t know. Regardless, Charlie Daniels was loved by all.
"This Legend, Charlie Daniels, was at the core of my roots and influences in music. We recorded "Just As I Am" together for his Gospel Album. "Oh lamb of God I come...I come," sings the hymn. An honor to call him my friend. Fiddle is gonna be roaring in heaven tonight! #RIP"
–Billy Ray Cyrus
"Charlie Daniels was someone you could lean on at any time or ask his advice. I am so blessed to have known him as a peer, as a friend and performed with him many times. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” well, the devil never had a chance! And now Charlie is playing that fiddle with the heavenly angels in the Big Man’s band. Some day I’ll see you again, Charlie."
"Every time I was around Charlie I felt like I was standing next to pure country. He sang about Faith, Patriotism, family and having good, clean fun. I’m so grateful that I got to meet and know a truly great man."
"Getting to open for Mr. Charlie was one of my very first memorable moments in country music. He’s an important part of my story. When Mom & I opened for Mr. Charlie in the 80’s, I was so young, so naive, and in awe of my heroes and sheroes in country music. I spent most of my time trying to talk to, hang out with and learn everything I could from the artists we played shows with. Mr. Charlie was always so kind to me. He always made me feel so important. His heart. Oh my. His passion for God and his country, it really was what made him such a gifted soul. I adore him!! He’d come over to me in a crowded room to hug me. He always made time for me and I respect him so much for the way he treated me and so many others in the room. During one of our moments backstage before a show, I was talking to Mr. Charlie about how nervous I was being onstage. He told me to “Never look at the empty seats.” I have not forgotten his words to me. Charlie Daniels is a maverick. His heart is bigger than most. He lived and he loved large!!!!! Thank you for your service to our great country sir. I love you so."
"Charlie Daniels was a life force. His music was ancient and modern all at once and overlapped every genre. He was a giver to those in need and those who showed promise. A great patriot, an authentic American."
“He was one of my biggest heroes. One of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. RIP my brother Charlie.”
"Charlie Daniels' work on Earth is done. While we will miss him and his talents here, we know he has gone home now. Rest In Peace, old friend. You are so loved. Sending love to Hazel and the entire family."
Photo: Getty Images