Legendary country singer and entertainer Glen Campbell dead at 81

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — Glen Campbell, the grinning, high-pitched entertainer who had such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and spanned country, pop, television and movies, has died. He was 81.

Campbell's publicist Sandy Brokaw says the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.

Campbell was one of the biggest stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. He sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits. He co-starred with John Wayne in the 1969 movie "True Grit" and had a weekly audience of some 50 million people for the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" on CBS from 1969 to 1972.

His family released the following statement on his website:

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.

A personal statement from Kim Campbell will follow."

The family appreciates your prayers and respect for their privacy at this time.

TMZ was the first to report Campbell's passing.

Back in 2012, Campbell spoke with WGN's Dean Richard's about his Alzheimer's diagnosis:

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