5 Years Ago: Glen Campbell Dies After a Battle With Alzheimer’s
On Aug. 8, 2017, country fans everywhere mourned the loss of one of the genre's most celebrated and multi-faceted voices. Glen Campbell, a country superstar whose career led him to success in pop, television and movies, died at the age of 81 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Campbell announced that he had Alzheimer's in 2011, and he mounted his Goodbye Tour later in the year. The trek is documented in the film Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, which also includes "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," a song that won Best Country Song at the 2015 Grammy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.
The legendary singer's final album, Adios, arrived in June 2017, just a couple of months before his death. Though his family was happy that he was able to put one more project, his daughter, musician Ashley Campbell, admitted that the album was bittersweet.
"We don't want to sugarcoat it. He has no idea that he has an album out. He had no idea when he won a Grammy," she told The Boot in July of that year.
In the wake of his death, country stars from every corner turned out to pay tribute to the late legend. Everyone from Jake Owen to John Mayer offered tributes in memoriam to Campbell, underscoring his deep-set legacy both in country music and beyond.
In early 2020, the Glen Campbell Museum opened in downtown Nashville. In addition to serving as a repository of artifacts from Campbell's career and a place for fans to learn more about his life and legacy, the museum also houses a small stage where shows can be held. Inside the museum, guests can find instruments, never-before-seen photos, stage clothes and other memorabilia.
“When I touch his clothes and when I look at the pictures of us together, it’s heart-wrenching for me, because I miss him every single day,” noted the singer's widow, Kim Campbell, surrounding the announcement of the museum's opening. “I feel like it’s a way to honor him, and I want to do everything I can to preserve his legacy and to share it with future generations.”
Campbell's museum followed other downtown Nashville museums dedicated to historical figures of country music, such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and George Jones.
Kim Campbell continues to advocate on behalf of dementia patients and their caregivers. In honor of her husband, she launched CareLiving — an organization providing support and education for caregivers — in 2016.
PICS: Glen Campbell Through the Years