Stars pay tribute to country music legend Merle Haggard

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Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard

Carrie Underwood and Justin Timberlake are among the stars to pay tribute to country music legend Merle Haggard.

Merle Haggard tributes have poured in as stars remember the late country music legend.

The music world was rocked on Wednesday (06.04.16) when the 'Okie From Muskogee' hitmaker died at his home on his 79th birthday in northern California after a battle with double pneumonia.

The singer/songwriter and instrumentalist has influenced the country music scene thanks to his decade-spanning career and heartfelt tributes have continued to flood social media as news of his death spread.

Leading the way was American country music singer Carrie Underwood.

She tweeted: "Love and prayers for the Haggard family. Merle was a pioneer...a true entertainer...a legend. There will never be another like him."

Country star LeAnn Womack has fond memories of Merle and said: "He is a true legend whose music was always inspired, never contrived. Our world is so much richer because he was in it."

Singer Brad Paisley tweeted: "There are no words to describe the loss & sorrow felt within all of music with the passing of Merle Haggard. Thank God for his life & songs."

Justin Timberlake was a huge fan of Merle and said that "the country music world has lost a legend".

He said: "On February 21st, 2010... I had the blessing of meeting and spending time with this man before his show at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago, IL. He let me photograph him backstage a couple of hours before he went onstage to a beloved crowd and took them to CHURCH. I got him to laugh at a joke at this very moment... My Grandfather was one of his hugest fans, as am I, so this was a very special day for me. The Country Music World has lost a LEGEND and a hell of a man. #RIPMerleHaggard (sic)"

And singer Cheryl Crow wrote: "The world will not be the same without @merlehaggard in it. Voice of reason, good man, true American artist. An original. RIP#MerleHaggard (sic)"

Merle's death has also touched Hollywood movie legend Clint Eastwood, who paid his respects as did actress Reece Witherspoon.

She tweeted: "Sad to have lost this Country music legend #MerleHaggard #RIP".

Merle had been married five times and overcame a prison stint during his younger years to achieve huge success as a country artist.

The star still toured in recent years, but had to cancel some April gigs due to his declining health.

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