Ralph Emery, a renowned American DJ who served the industry for more than a half-century, has died at the age of 88.

Emery’s family first confirmed the news, saying they surrounded him when he passed away on Saturday.

According to WGLT, Emery was rushed to Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. His son, Michael, told Associated Press that he was hospitalized for a week before succumbing.

As for Ralph Emery’s cause of death, his family said that he died of natural causes. However, they did not detail why they had him admitted to a hospital for days.

His family also released an official statement confirming his passing, saying he had a deep love for his family and friends.

Following the news about his death, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Kyle Young dropped a heartfelt statement to honor the late DJ’s legacy.

“On radio and on television, he allowed fans to get to know the people behind the songs. Ralph was more a grand conversationalist than a calculated interviewer, and it was his conversations that revealed the humor and humanity of Tom T. Hall, Barbara Mandrell, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins and many more. Above all, he believed in music and in the people who make it,” he said, as quoted by NPR.

Loretta Lynn wrote, “It breaks my heart to learn of Ralph Emery’s passing. Ralph and I go way back. He was a Nashville original and you cannot underestimate the role he played in the growth and success of country music. He made you feel at ease and interviewed everyone just like an old friend.”

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Details about his funeral arrangements remain unknown, per The Tennessean. 

Ralph Emery’s Contributions Revisited

Before his death, Emery had a blooming career in the industry that he became known as the dean of country music broadcasters.

He started his career at small radio stations before finding his spot in several television shows. Among his works, Emery famously worked on the Nashville Network cable channel.

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From 1983 to 1993, he hosted the channel’s show “Nashville Now.” At that time, he scored the title of “the Johnny Carson of cable television for his interviewing style at the live talk-variety show.

In addition, he worked at radio stations in Louisiana and Nashville before working at Nashville’s WSM.

In 2007, he was officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Before his death, he was still able to release an album and single, the 1989 “Songs for Children” and “Hello Fool.”

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