Charlie Daniels was an American singer and songwriter born on October 28, 1936. He was a versatile musician whose works encompassed multiple genres. Most of his songs were accredited to the Charles Daniels Band. His most popular song is the 1979’s ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ which earned him a Grammy and was placed third on the Billboard Hot 100. Daniels was the co-writer of Elvis Presley’s ‘It Hurts Me.’ An active musician from the 1950s until his death, Daniels has been inducted into several Halls of Fame, including the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. He passed away on July 6, 2020, at 83. Let’s remember this legend by looking back at his inspiring life story.
Charles Edward Daniels was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on October 28, 1936. He moved to Gulf Township, Chatham County, North Carolina, during his adolescence. By the time he graduated from high school in 1955, Daniels was already skilled at several instruments, including guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. He began to pursue his music career by forming a rock ‘n’ roll band.
Daniels co-wrote one of Elvis Presley’s top songs, ‘It Hurts Me,’ with producer Bob Johnston under the name of the latter’s wife, Joy Byers. He produced “Elephant Mountain,” a 1969 album by the Youngbloods. However, Daniels’s first solo album was released in 1971, titled after his nickname “Charlie Daniels.” In 1972, the Charlie Daniels Band was born. Their first hit was ‘Uneasy Rider’ from their third album in 1973, “Honey in the Rock.” The song was ninth on the Billboard Hot 100. Daniel’s greatest commercial success was the album “Million Mile Reflections,” which received triple-platinum certifications. Daniels was named the Best Country Vocal Performance in the 1979 Grammy Award for ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ his most famous song to date. Daniels teamed up with Mark O’Connor in 1993 to record the sequel to his 1979 masterpiece, titled ‘The Devil Came Back to Georgia.’ The song was featured on O’Connor’s “Heroes” album.
Daniels was rushed to the hospital on January 15, 2010, due to a stroke while snowmobiling in Colorado. On March 25, 2013, he was admitted to a hospital in Nashville after being diagnosed with mild pneumonia. After battling multiple illnesses, the 83-year-old musician died from a hemorrhagic stroke on July 6, 2020, at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee.
Daniels releases his first solo album named after himself.
“Million Miles Reflections” receives triple-platinum certifications, becoming Daniels’ most successful album to date.
Daniels’ hit song ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ earns him a Grammy Award for ‘Best Country Vocal Performance.’
Daniels gets inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
Why We Love Charlie Daniels
He was a humble man
Despite having a long list of accomplishments behind his name, Daniels rarely brought them up in conversations. Instead, he would shift the spotlight to other topics and causes close to his heart, such as charities and social issues.
He produced diverse music
Although he started his career by playing Southern rock, Daniels produced diverse music throughout his five decades as an active musician. Some genres he covered are cowboy music, bluegrass, blues, jazz, rock and roll, and many others.
He lent his talent to charities
All his life, Daniels lent his talent to several charitable organizations. For instance, he played for charities that helped prevent teen suicide and non-profit organizations that provided homes for abused and neglected children.
5 Surprising Facts
He wasn’t just a musician
Daniels was featured in no fewer than 20 films throughout his career.
He always had his beard on
Daniels was seldom spotted without his beard.
He was an outdoor guy
Daniels's hobbies included fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling.
He has a park named after him
The city of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, named a park after him.
He was featured in a game
Daniels’ famous song, ‘The Devil Down to Georgia,’ was included in “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” as the final battle against the last boss.
Charlie Daniels FAQs
Who is Charlie Daniels’ wife?
Daniels was married to Hazel Juanita Alexander.
Does Charlie Daniels have children?
Daniels and his wife have a son named Charles Edward Daniels Jr.
Was Charlie Daniels in the military?
While not enlisted, Daniels was known to be a long-time military supporter. He was named an honorary brigadier general in the Tennessee State Guard.
Charlie Daniels’s birthday dates