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Roy Clark, country star and 'Hee Haw' host, dead at 85

By
Annie Martin
Roy Clark (R), pictured with Charlie McCoy (L) and Barbara Mandrell, died Thursday in Tulsa, Okla. File Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/UPI
Roy Clark (R), pictured with Charlie McCoy (L) and Barbara Mandrell, died Thursday in Tulsa, Okla. File Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Country music star and former Hee Haw host Roy Clark died Thursday at age 85.

Clark's rep told TMZ the singer and musician, who was dubbed a "superpicker" due to his talent on guitar, died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Tulsa, Okla.

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Clark's publisher confirmed the news in a press release to WKRG News 5. The country music star is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara Joyce Rupard, and his five children.

Clark was born in Meherrin, Va., in April 1933 and raised in Washington, D.C. He was introduced to music by his father, who played in a square dance band and took him to free concerts in the area.

The "Honeymoon Feelin'" singer initially played banjo and mandolin and was gifted his first guitar at age 14. He proved a natural musician and was invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry after winning a banjo competition in 1950.

Clark released his debut album, The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark, in 1962. He appeared on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and American Bandstand and landed his own show, Hee Haw, which co-starred Buck Owens and ran from 1969 to 1992.

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Clark released a number of albums over three decades and was known for such singles as "Yesterday When I Was Young," "Thank God and Greyhound," "Come Live with Me" and "Think Summer." He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

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2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held in Los Angeles
Chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain attends the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on August 16, 2014. Bourdain died by suicide in France at the age of 61, his employer CNN announced on June 8. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

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