Opry Legend Porter Wagoner Has Passed Away

Porter Wagoner is shown at his home in Nashville, Tenn., July 19, 2007. He passed away Sunday night at the age of 80.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A spokeswoman for the Grand Ole Opry says country superstar Porter Wagoner died tonight. He was 80 years old.

Wagoner had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He died at 8:25 p.m. Central time in a Nashville hospice.

He was a superstar in his own right, but Wagoner will always be known as the man who helped launch the career of Dolly Parton by hiring her as his duet partner.

The Missouri-born Wagoner signed with RCA Records in 1955 and joined the Opry in 1957.

His showmanship, rhinestone suits and pompadoured hair made him famous. His syndicated TV show, "The Porter Wagoner Show," began in 1960 and ran for 21 years.

Among his hits were "Carroll County Accident," "A Satisfied Mind," and "Green Green Grass of Home."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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