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Friday
Apr012011

Mel McDaniel, Grand Ole Opry Star, Dead at 68

Redferns/Getty Images(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Grand Ole Opry star Mel McDaniel has died after a long battle with lung cancer, according to TheBoot.com.  He was 68.

His biggest hits included the 1984 smash "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On," "Louisiana Saturday Night," "Stand Up," "Big Ole Brew" and "Real Good Feel Good Song."

Born in Checotah, Oklahoma, McDaniel got his start in country music by singing on demo recordings and writing songs for other artists, including Kenny Rogers and Conway Twitty.  He landed his record deal in 1976, but didn't score his first big hit until 1981's "Louisiana Saturday Night."  He was inducted into the Opry in 1986.

In 1996, an onstage fall forced him off the road, but he continued to record. In 2009, he suffered a heart attack and was put into a medically-induced coma.  On February 9 of this year, he was hospitalized with terminal lung cancer, shortly after completing what will now be his final album, The Last Ride.

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