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Texas country music legend, Grammy winner Bill Mack dies after contracting COVID-19

The "Dean of Country Music Disc Jockeys" and songwriter died Friday morning, according to his son, Billy Mack Smith.
Credit: Academy of Western Artists

DALLAS — A Texas country music icon has passed away after contracting COVID-19.

The "Dean of Country Music Disc Jockeys," Bill Mack, 88, died Friday morning, according to his son, Billy Mack Smith.

"I’m deeply saddened to tell you that my Dad passed away early this morning due to COVID-19 with underlying conditions," Smith said in a Facebook post. "He was an amazing father, grandfather, great grandfather and husband to my mom. I’m blessed to have had not only a great dad but my best friend as well. He truly will be missed. God bless."

Mack originally wrote and sang the song "Blue" in 1959, which was then re-recorded by LeAnn Rimes. The song won Mack a "Country Song of the Year" GRAMMY in 1997. He also wrote "Drinking Champagne," which was recorded by Cal Smith and George Strait. 

Other compositions by Mack have been recorded by more than 60 artists including Dean Martin, Ray Price, Jerry Lee Lewis and George Jones.

Mack was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Known as "Radio's Midnight Cowboy," Mack worked with Fort Worth radio giant WBAP beginning in 1969. He also hosted "Country Crossroads" that was heard on more than 800 stations across the nation.

According to the Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association, nobody in broadcasting has a more recognizable voice than Mack. The THSA says Mack won more awards than any other country music DJ in the world.

In 2000, Mack was given the “Media” award for broadcasting by his peers and the members of the world-famous “Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville.