Merle Haggard is undoubtedly one of the greatest country musicians of all time. Following an incredible career marked by No. 1 hits, successful collaborations with artists like George Jones and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, his name with forever be listed among the genre’s greats.
Known for challenging mainstream Nashville with his iconic Bakersfield Sound, the Hag always pushed the limits and stayed true to himself; from his very first album for Capitol Records that gave us “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “The Bottle Let Me Down” to 1980’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and 2015’s Django & Jimmie with Willie Nelson. He’s a true American legend. Even his band, The Strangers, is iconic.
Here are 11 things you might not have known about country music’s beloved singer-songwriter.