Veteran Christian country star Glen Campbell dies at 81

The veteran country musician Glen Campbell died yesterday at age 81, after an ongoing battle with Alzheimer's disease. Campbell was a born-again Christian who had shared how his faith saved him from a cocaine addiction.

ReutersGlen Campbell was a American country icon and born-again Christian who was open about his faith.

Glen Travis Campbell, who famously recorded hits such as Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman and Gentle on My Mind died at an Nashville Alzheimer's facility surrounded by his family, his publicist announced.

His family wrote in a statement on the singer's website: 'It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.'

Campbell announced he was suffering from the disease in June 2011, after which he embarked on a farewell tour across the US that concluded in November 2012.

The acclaimed singer-guitarist has won six Grammy Awards and had nine no 1 records in his five-decade career.

The artist's stardom also led to personal troubles, including drug abuse and alcoholism. However in 1981 Campbell became a born-again Christian and added hymns to his musical repertoire.

He said in 1990: 'Christ has delivered me from all the evil I was in. I'm happier now than ever in my life...I love singing gospel music and hymns. Being a Christian, I love to tell people about Christ and what he's done for me and can do for them.'

After three failed marriages, Campbell settled with his fourth wife, Kim Woolen in 1982.

He told the magazine Guideposts about how his faith enabled him to leave behind his cocaine addiction and his alcoholism. He said: 'When God lifted my obsession for alcohol it was as if he raised the curtain on a whole new life. He changed me in ways I never could have changed myself, and that is the key. Kim and I have a real marriage now, an honest marriage.

'Today I truly have a peace "which passeth all understanding". I really don't understand it. But I thank the Lord all the time. I am a man richly blessed, despite myself. For all that God has given me, there is nothing for which I am more thankful than Kim.'

Additional reporting by Reuters