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Ralph Stanley (1927–2016)

by Legacy Staff

Ralph Stanley, the influential, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass musician, died June 23, 2016, according to multiple media sources. He was 89.

Stanley’s death was announced by his grandson, Nathan Stanley.

“My heart is broken into pieces,” Nathan Stanley wrote Thursday in a post on Facebook. “My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago. He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with Skin Cancer.

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“I feel so lost and so alone right now. He was my world, and he was my everything. He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you.”


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Stanley was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which shared its condolences to the Stanley family in a post on Facebook.

“Our hearts are saddened by the news of the passing of Opry member Dr. Ralph Stanley,” the Opry wrote. “His music will live on forever.”

Ralph and his brother Carter Stanley performed as The Stanley Brothers with their band, The Clinch Mountain Boys, from 1946 to 1966. After Carter died in 1966, Ralph Stanley continued to perform with the band. Later in his life, Stanley co-wrote music for the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

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