Article by: Kristelle Maguire DALLAS, TX - Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - Country Hall of Famer, Merle Haggard succumbed to an ongoing battle with pneumonia on his birthday at the age of 79. According to his son, Ben Haggard posted on his Facebook page earlier today, "A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn't wrong. A hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer.. He was the best country singer that ever lived." "Country music has suffered one of the greatest losses it will ever experience," said country star Charlie Daniels on Twitter. "Rest in peace Merle Haggard." "Merle Haggard, the great storyteller, his voice and his personality will be greatly missed. He was a true original." Kenny Rogers tweeted. We've lost one of the greatest writers and singers of all time." Dolly Parton shared on Facebook. " His heart was as tender as his love ballads. I loved him like a brother. Rest easy, Merle." Willie Nelson and Merle had teamed together in 2015 for the 'Django and Jimmie' tour. They were currently slated to tour again for several selected cities. Willie and Merle worked together for decades creating a tight bond. "He was my brother, my friend. I will miss him." Willie posted on Facebook today. Merle's history is one of crime, punishment, alcoholism, and violence as well as a love of music, religion and America. He has left an amazing legacy and will be greatly missed.