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Porter Wagoner

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Country Music Legend Porter Wagoner Dies



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Country music superstar Porter Wagoner, who helped launch the career of superstar Dolly Parton, died Sunday at a Nashville hospice.


Wagoner, 80, had been diagnosed with lung cancer.


Grand Ole Opry Vice President Pete Fisher said the Opry family "is deeply saddened" by the passing of "our dear friend."


He had for years been the front line host of the Grand Ole Opry, inheriting that post from the late Roy Acuff.


His illness came after a comeback that saw him recording again and gaining new fans even as he reached his 80s.


In May, he celebrated his 50th year in the Opry and signed his first record contract in years. His new CD "Wagonmaster" earned some of his best reviews. Over the summer he opened for the rock duo White Stripes at a sold-out concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, where he was touched by the reaction of the young audience.


His many hits included "Green Green Grass of Home," but he is perhaps best known for hiring 21-year-old Dolly Parton in 1967 to be his duet partner.

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