Country music star Big Tom who has died at the age of 81.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts and TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the Irish music industry has lost a legend following the announcement of the death of Big Tom McBride. I enjoyed tremendously meeting him on more than one occasion and getting to know him a little bit and certainly enough to know that this is truly a sad day for the country music scene in Ireland. "May he rest in peace", the statement continued. It shows his popularity and legendary status as the king of Irish country music.
In 2016, the Mainliners frontman became the first person to be inducted into Ireland's Country Music Hall Of Fame.
He was one of several artists who took part in a charity concert in Letterkenny past year following the August floods that devastated parts of Donegal.
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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also paid tribute today, calling Big Tom a "giant in country music".
The news comes only shortly after plans were revealed to erect a statue in honour of Big Tom and his legacy in his Co Monaghan hometown.
The musician, whose real name was Thomas McBride, was affectionately known as Ireland's king of country music. His songs were a reflection of Irish life and an important connection for the Irish diaspora.
Irish President Michael D Higgins said Mr McBride was "one of the most charismatic and influential artists in Irish country music". I am sure his family are devastated at his passing.
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