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Ray Price Dies at 87; LeAnn Rimes and Reba McEntire Mourn Loss of Country Legend

Ray Price, LeAnn Rimes, Reba Mcentire Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images, ABC/SARA KAUSS, FayesVision/WENN.com

Country singer and bandleader Ray Price passed away Monday, Dec. 16, at the age of 87.

The music legend died of complications from pancreatic cancer at his Texas home, his family confirmed to NBC News. He'd been fighting the disease since he was diagnosed in 2011.

LeAnn Rimes took to Twitter to express her grief over the loss, writing, "R.I.P. Ray Price Prayers go out to your family. Hope the angels are enjoying your voice!" Reba McEntire expressed her condolences as well, tweeting, "What a wonderful life Ray Price had!!! We're so blessed to have had his beautiful voice all these years!!! I will always be a huge fan."

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And they're certainly not alone. Price had more than 100 hits in his lengthy music career, and as his agent Bobby Roberts said in a statement to CNN, "Ray expanded country music to the masses."

"He was a true gentleman that absolutely cared about his fans," added Roberts.

The "Crazy Arms" singer, credited with creating a four-four rhythm later dubbed as the "Ray Price beat," remained a positive outlook in his final years despite his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

In an October 2012 interview with the San Antonio Express, Price said that despite his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he wanted to do 100 shows in the next year. He also humbly expressed how thankful he was for his long, lustrous career. "I'm having big crowds everywhere we go, having sellouts," he said. "After 67 years, I'm tickled to death. It sure beats working in the cotton patch."

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