Country singer Don Williams has passed away, his publicist confirmed to the Daily News. He was 78.
He reportedly died after a brief struggle with an undisclosed illness.
Williams was born in Floydada, the pumpkin capital of the United States, grew up in Portland, Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Williams was best known as a popular singer-songwriter. His music career began when he formed the folk band The Pozo Seco Singers in 1964 while living in Corpus Christi. After the group broke up, Williams moved to Nashville where he hit it big with his chart debut, “The Shelter of Your Eyes,” in 1973. The following year, he topped the charts with his followup hit “I Wouldn’t Want To Live If You Didn’t Love Me.”
One of Williams’ greatest accomplishments was seeing each one of his singles hit the Top-40 on the Billboard Country charts from 1974 to 1991. In that span, “Tulsa Time,” “She Never Knew Me” and “It Must Be Love” were particular standouts. But Williams’ biggest success was his 1981 smash hit “I Believe In You,” which dominated the Country charts and rocketed all the way up to No. 24 on the Hot 100, per the Daily News.
Thanks to his soulful and tranquil sound, Williams earned the nickname “The Gentle Giant.”
In 2010, Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2016, he gave his last performance.
“It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home,” he said in a statement at the time. “I am so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”