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‘Gentle Giant’ Passes Away at Age 78

“I Believe in You,” love ballad by Don Williams, an award-winning country singer, died at 78.

Williams had 17 No. 1 hits before retiring in 2016.

Williams, nicknamed “the Gentle Giant,” had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. He toured sparingly, did few media interviews and spent much of his time on his farm west of Nashville.

“It’s one of those blessings and curses kind of things,” Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1994. “If you have the talent, it’s a blessing. But there’s times that … a lot of the prices that you have to pay to be a part of it is a curse. But as far as … the way people have responded to what I’ve done, there’s very few things in my life that I’ve done that come anywhere close to making you feel exhilarated and humbled and fulfilled and challenged and all that, all at the same time.”

Some of his top hits are: ″Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,” “I Believe in You,” ″You’re My Best Friend,” ″Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” “Back in My Younger Days” and ″Till the Rivers All Run Dry.”

Was featured in a duet with Emmylou Harris, “If I Needed You” in 1981.

“One of the greatest to ever sing a country song,” wrote Rodney Atkins on Twitter. “I can’t write a song without thinking about Don Williams songs. #RIPDonWilliams.”

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Williams was born in Floydada, Texas, and spent the early part of his career in rock, country and folk groups. He was a founding member of the Pozo Seco Singers, then started a solo career in 1971. His first No. 1 hit was “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me” and 42 of his 46 singles landed on the top 10 from 1974 to 1991.


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