Internationally popular country singer Don Williams, who gave dozens of hit songs, including "I Believe In You", "Tulsa Time", "Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good" and "It Must Be Love", has died. He was 78.
Williams, whose imposing height and warm, reassuring voice earned him the nickname "Gentle Giant", passed away on September 8 after a short illness, according to the Webster public relations firm.
The Texas singer arrived in Nashville in the early 1970s. He made his chart debut with "The Shelter of Your Eyes" in 1973 and was soon hitting the charts time and again with a much more laid-back sound than a lot of the music coming out of Nashville at the time.
In 1974, Williams topped the charts for the first time with "I Wouldn't Want To Live If You Didn't Love Me."
From that point all the way through 1991, each Williams single would hit the Top-40 on the Billboard Country charts.
His 1970s hits included such chart toppers as "Tulsa Time", "She Never Knew Me", and "It Must Be Love."
The 1980s saw no slow down in Williams' recorded output, with the singer notching his biggest hit with 1981's "I Believe In You", which not only topped the Country charts but crossed over to No. 24 on the Hot 100.
By this time, he had earned the nickname "The Gentle Giant" for his trademark mellow sound, and the hits continued to pile up throughout the rest of the decade. "Stay Young", "If Hollywood Don't Need You", and "One Good Well" being three of his biggest of the 1980s.
His final top ten came in 1991, with "Lord Have Mercy On A Country Boy".
In addition to his recording career, Williams appeared in the 1975 Burt Reynolds films "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings" and 1980's "Smokey and the Bandit II", reported Rolling Stone.
In 2004, he released his "My Heart to You" LP for Sugar Hill Records; although he staged a 2006 farewell tour, he came out of retirement in October 2010, the same month he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
His most recent studio album, "Reflections", was released in 2014.
In 2016, Williams decided that the time was right for his final performance.
"It's time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home. I'm so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support", Williams said in a statement at the time.
Williams' songs have been recorded by country superstars Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack, as well as rock legends Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. Just one day before he turned 78 last May, the tribute album "Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams" was released.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.