George Hamilton dies at 77NASHVILLE - Grand Ole Opry star George Hamilton IV, who was one of country music’s first international ambassadors, has died. He was 77.
A news release from the Opry, a country music stage show and broadcast, says Hamilton died Wednesday at a Nashville hospital after a heart attack.
Hamilton had been an Opry member since 1960, when he made the switch from pop music to country. He said the decision came after enjoying the Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Hamilton worked with producer Chet Atkins on a number of hits and scored his first country No. 1 with “Abilene” in 1963.
He brought country music to Russia and former Czechoslovakia and recorded the first country album in Eastern Europe. Over the years, he hosted country-themed television shows in Britain and Canada.