West Plains Native, Country Superstar Porter Wagoner Dies

Photo courtesy: PorterWagoner.com
Photo courtesy: PorterWagoner.com

For more on the passing of Porter Wagoner, including reaction from people in his native West Plains, watch Region 8 News tonight at Six.

NASHVILLE, TN - Country music's Porter Wagoner has died in Nashville at 80.

Wagoner, whose career ended on a high note, died at a hospice facility of lung cancer.

His final album, "Wagonmaster," produced with Marty Stuart, was released in June 2007 and earned Wagoner some of the best reviews of his career.  Over the summer, he was the opening act for the influential rock duo White Stripes at a sold-out show at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Wagoner, a native of West Plains, Missouri, where a major street is named after him, was hospitalized this month and his publicist disclosed he had cancer.

Grand Ole Opry spokeswoman Darlene Bieber says Wagoner died at 8:25 p.m. last night.

Country singer and fellow Opry member Dierks Bentley visited Wagoner in the hospice over the weekend and said Wagoner led them in prayer, thanking God for his friends, his family and the Grand Ole Opry.

Click here for Grand Ole Opry video of Porter Wagoner on stage.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)