49th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Country Music legend Don Williams, one of the biggest country stars of the 70's and 80's has decided it's time to hang up his hat, after six decades of making music and entertaining crowds.

Williams, known as the “Gentle Giant” because of his 6'1'' frame, distinctive baritone voice and slow, easy style that appealed to both men and women alike, was a dominating force on the country music charts with 27 top-10 solo hits, and 17 chart toppers, which included the 1978 ACM Song of the Year "Tulsa Time". He also won his lone CMA award in 1978, for Male Vocalist of the Year; Williams' greatest honor of all may have come in 2010 when he was named to the Country Music Hall of Fame. His final number 1 on the U. S. charts was 1986's "Heartbeat In The Dark".

With a catalog of more than 50 top-20 hits, Williams has been a fan favorite across the globe with #1 hits in Canada and the U.K. He has been a top draw on the road, mesmerizing crowds with his distinctive baritone voice and timeless classics such as "I Believe In You", "Good Ole Boys Like Me" and "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend".

“It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”  Don Williams

Williams first gained national attention as a member of the pop-folk trio The Pozo Seco Singers, which had six pop chart hits in 1966-’67. Between 1974 and 1991, Williams had at least one top-10 hit every year. In 1981, Williams and Emmylou Harris hit #3 with the duet “If I Needed You.”

Don Williams
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Williams captivated crowds in his live shows with the mellow tone of his smooth baritone and relaxed stage meaner made the crowd feel like they were sitting out on the back porch with an old friend. Williams had been in the midst of his 2016 21-city tour, when he was forced to postpone tour dates because of hip replacement surgery, which was set to include a stop at The Joint At The hard Rock Hotel March 10th. It is unclear at this time if it was the surgery that forced the retirement announcement.

With the hundreds of memorable songs in William's repertoire, Williams will be forever remembered as a performer that brought a sound and sensibility to the country charts unlike those that came before or since. Here's wishing Don all the happiness he has brought his fans over his career!

2013 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival - Day 3
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach

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