The Grammy-winning blind singer-songwriter Doc Watson has died. He was 89.
Watson had been hospitalized in Winston-Salem, N.C., for abdominal surgery, the Associated Press reports.
Born Arthel Lane Watson in North Carolina, Watson lost his eyesight as an infant due to an infection, but he went on to have a successful career as a bluegrass and folk musician, known for recordings including “Tom Dooley” and “Shady Grove.”
From the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, Watson toured and recorded with his son, Eddy Merle, until the younger musician was killed in a tractor accident on their family farm in 1985.
In the 2000s, Watson was often joined onstage by his grandson, Merle’s son Richard.
Watson won seven Grammy awards throughout his career, as well as a lifetime achievement award in 2004.
In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts from then President Bill Clinton.
He is survived by a daughter, Nancy.
He will surely be missed!
North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue released a statement on Tuesday, saying:
“Our state was fortunate to have such a worldwide ambassador of North Carolina’s culture and heritage. He will be missed.”