Music legend Big Tom passes away

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Tom McBride was from nearby Oram, outside Castleblayney, Co Monaghan but had performed several times in this area down through a career which spanned six decades.

Big Tom became a star in the 1960s having formed the Mainliners, later touring with the band for nearly two decades.

Sad news this morning as it has been announced that Irish country music legend Big Tom has died.

"Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family".

'May he rest in peace'.

The Mainliners frontman's death came just months after the passing of his beloved wife, Rose.

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She said: "From Four Country Roads to Gentle Mother, his hits have travelled far and wide, earning him the title of the King of Country Music". "Country music is richer because of him, he has left so much behind", he said.

"Big Tom is a household name, not only in Ireland, but in many parts of the UK".

"I grew up all through Big Tom's career". It shows his popularity and legendary status as the king of Irish country music.

The Late Late Show Country Special has proven to be one of the most popular episodes with the special in April previous year drawing an audience of 677,400 viewers and a 52 per cent audience share.

Singer Daniel O'Donnell said: "He reached out to people in Ireland, and those who had emigrated from Ireland In the days so many people lived in England and their connection with home was all the music and dances at the weekend".

"I want to extend my condolences to his family and his huge army of fans".

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