Earl Thomas Conley died yesterday (Wednesday, April 10th) at the age of 77 in Nashville. The Tennessean reports he had been in hospice care for several months suffering with a condition similar to dementia.
Conley's biggest hits came in the late 1970s and 80s, charting 18th Number One hits including “Holding Her and Loving You,” “Right From the Start,” and “What I’d Say.”
Several country stars took to social media to express their sadness.
Blake Shelton shared a picture of himself on stage with Conley performing writing, “My heart is absolutely destroyed today . . . I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest . . .”
Toby Keith tweeted, “An all time great. Earl Thomas Conley passed away today. Huge influence on me. Loved him. Prayers to his family.”
John Rich tweeted, “So sad to hear #EarlThomasConley passed away today. He was a huge influence on my style and songwriting. I studied his records like text books and could play every note of every song. Truly one of the all time greats in country music. #RipEarlThomasConley”
Terri Clark tweeted, “I grew up being obsessed with country music in the early – mid 80s. This guy was one of the best. You will be missed Earl Thomas Conley. #RIPETC”
Charlie Daniels tweeted, “A great country singer passes today, Earl Thomas Conley rest in peace.”
Chris Young tweeted, “RIP Earl Thomas Conley… sad day for country music”
A source told The Tennessean that Conley did not want a funeral, and his body was donated to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.