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  • 17 December 2013, 10:32

Country Star Ray Price Dies Aged 87

Country music legend Ray Price has died at the age of 87 after battling pancreatic cancer.

The Country Music Hall of Famer had returned to his ranch outside Mount Pleasant, Texas, only days ago to receive care.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, but ended aggressive treatments on Thursday after the disease spread to his liver, intestines and lungs.

His wife, Janie Price, relayed what she called her husband's "final message" to his fans.

It said: "I love my fans and have devoted my life to reaching out to them.

"I appreciate their support all these years, and I hope I haven't let them down. I am at peace. I love Jesus.

"I'm going to be just fine. Don't worry about me. I'll see you again one day."

Mr Price, one of the greatest voices of country music, is credited with revolutionising the genre with number one hits including Crazy Arms and City Lights.

Earlier this month, he told Rolling Stone magazine: "I just like what I've done and how it's worked out, and it's been great.

"I haven't lost my voice, thank God for that."

Mr Price also gave country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson his start, as his road-show bass player.

Born on January 12, 1926, in a tiny East Texas town called Peach, he joined the Marines at 17 before making his first record in 1949 and signing with Columbia in 1951, where he became close friends with Hank Williams.

More than 60 years later, he was looking forward to the release of his next album.

He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

On Monday, Mr Price's death was reported by mistake by his son.

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