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Country rocker Charlie Daniels honored at memorial service

Country Music Hall of Fame musician Charlie Daniels received military honors at a memorial service in Tennessee on Wednesday

MT. JULIET, Tenn. -- Country Music Hall of Fame musician Charlie Daniels received military honors at a memorial service in Tennessee on Wednesday night.

The country music icon, who penned the hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died at the age of 83 on Monday after doctors said he suffered a stroke, according to a statement from his publicist.

The singer, guitarist and fiddler was also an honorary brigadier general in the Tennessee State Guard and founded the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University, officials for the school said in a statement Wednesday.

Tennessee's adjutant general, Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, was joined by Middle Tennessee State University's president and the school’s senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives to render the military honors at the service outside a Mt. Juliet funeral home.

The ceremony began with a flyover of Army Blackhawk helicopters, and Holmes and the university representatives later presented American flags to Charlie Daniels’ wife, Hazel Daniels, and son, Charlie Daniels Jr.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivered remarks and country musician Trace Adkins, among others, performed.

The country music icon, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, started out as a session musician, even playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” sessions. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured extensively, sometimes doing 250 shows a year. Throughout his career, Daniels performed at the White House, the Super Bowl, throughout Europe and often for troops in the Middle East.

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