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Country stars talk of Charlie Daniels’ faith at funeral

FILE - Charlie Daniels performs during a memorial service for country music singer Troy Gentry at the Grand Ole Opry House on Sept. 14, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Daniels who had a hit with “Devil Went Down to Georgia” has died at age 83. A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday due to a hemorrhagic stroke.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
FILE - Charlie Daniels performs during a memorial service for country music singer Troy Gentry at the Grand Ole Opry House on Sept. 14, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Daniels who had a hit with “Devil Went Down to Georgia” has died at age 83. A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday due to a hemorrhagic stroke. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 8:45 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 8:48 PM CDT
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MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (AP) - Country Music Hall of Fame musician Charlie Daniels received military honors at a memorial service in Tennessee on Wednesday night.

The country music icon, who penned the hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died at the age of 83 on Monday after a stroke, according to his publicist.

The singer, guitarist and fiddler was also an honorary brigadier general in the Tennessee State Guard and founded the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University, officials for the school said.

Tennessee's adjutant general, Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, was joined by the university's president and senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives to render the military honors at the outdoor service at a Mount Juliet funeral home.

The ceremony began with a flyover of Army Blackhawk helicopters. Holmes and university representatives later presented American flags to Daniels’ wife, Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels Jr.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivered remarks and country musician Trace Adkins, among others, performed.

Daniels, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, started out as a session musician, playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” sessions. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured extensively, sometimes doing 250 shows a year. Throughout his career, Daniels performed at the White House, the Super Bowl, throughout Europe and often for troops in the Middle East.

Friends of the late country star Charlie Daniels reflected on his faith and his patriotism as well as his musical legacy at his funeral service.

The fiddler was given a star-studded salute on Friday by country artists Travis Tritt, Trace Adkins and Vince Gill during the service in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The Tennessean reported that his casket was surrounded by a fiddle, a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar and a belt buckle with a cross.

Copyright 2020 AP. All rights reserved.

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