Merle Haggard is known as one of the most influential country singers of all time. He had countless hits, along with a plethora of honors and awards, including a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, a BMI Icon Award, and is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The country music legend passed away on his 79th birthday, April 6, 2016, surrounded by family and friends at his ranch in Shasta County, California.
Throughout his life, he was married five times. In 1956, he married Leona Hobbs and they had four children together – Dana, Marty, Kelli, and Noel – before divorcing in 1964. A year later, he wed singer Bonnie Owens and they were married for 13 years. They remained on friendly terms and she was even the maid of honor at his third wedding in 1978 to Leona Williams. His marriage to Williams lasted five years. In 1985, he married Debbie Parret, but they got a divorce in 1991.
In 1993, he married Theresa Ann Lane and their love story was one for the books. They were married until his 2016 death and had two children – Jenessa and Ben – together. Theresa often sang backup for her husband during his live shows.
While most fans know about his six children from two of his marriages, he actually does have a seventh child, a son named Scott. Like Merle’s other sons, Scott has forged a career in music, often paying tribute to his legendary father.
Let’s meet all of Merle’s talented sons.