Faron Young was one of the brightest country music stars of his generation, but he died tragically at the age of 64 from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Young scored a long string of hits beginning in the 1950s, including "Sweet Dreams," "It's Four in the Morning," "Keeping Up with the Joneses" and "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young." He was one of the first major stars to bring attention to Wille Nelson when he cut "Hello Walls," and he also helped out a number of other stars when they were struggling newcomers, including Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller and Johnny Paycheck

Young also worked as an actor occasionally, appearing in Hidden Guns and Daniel Boone, and he founded a country music fan magazine called Music City News. According to the New York Times, his other business holdings included a booking agency, book and music publishers, real estate and a race track.

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Young's run of hits ended after "Some Kind of Woman' in 1974, but he continued to record and perform. His later years saw him in declining health as he battled emphysema and underwent prostate surgery, and on Dec. 9, 1996, Young shot himself in the head at his Nashville home.

E! News reports that a former band member of Young's found the singer in his home, still alive after shooting himself. Young had written a suicide note explaining that he had been depressed about his health struggles.

Young died on Dec. 10, 1996, at Columbia Summit Medical Center in Nashville, surrounded by all four of his children. In a statement, they said the singer had "left his family, friends and fans to perform the biggest concert of his career."