Americana music lost singer-songwriter Doc Watson this week. The folk legend was a seven-time GRAMMY winner and a Lifetime Achievement Winner with the Recording Academy. He was blind since he was only one year old, but it never stopped him from sharing his music with the world. Doc was 89 years old when he passed away yesterday in a hospital in Winston-Salem. He was recently hospitalized after an abdominal surgery.
The Recording Academy’s President and CEO Neil Portnow released a statement late last night on the tragic news of his passing:
“Seven-time GRAMMY® winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Doc Watson was a singer, songwriter and guitar player known for his masterful skills as a musician and his beautiful, emotion-filled voice. He toured the country with various acts and family members for nearly six decades bringing Americana music to fans everywhere, and he is highly regarded as a major influence on today’s country and folk artists. Watson’s immense talent and spirit will be deeply missed, and our sincerest sympathies go out to his family, friends and all who were inspired by his music.”
Doc was responsible for making the guitar a lead instrument in country music in the 1950s and 1960s. It used to be considered a backup for mandolin, banjo and fiddle. Read more about Doc and his life on Boston.com. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and loved ones.