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Christian country music star dies aged 77

Following brief beginnings in pop music, touring with the likes of Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, Hamilton found fame through country music and regularly topped the charts.

During the 1960s and '70s he scored 40 hits.

Born in North Carolina, Hamilton took his music across the world, becoming the first country musician to perform in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

Later in his career he switched his focus to gospel music.

During the '80s he appeared alongside Billy Graham on his Mission England tour, sharing his faith with tens of thousands.

Produced in 2010, his most recent album, entitled Old Fashioned Hymns and Gospel Songs for Those Who Miss Them, is a collection of gospel songs featuring a number of guest artists.

Premier presenter Rev Cindy Kent tweeted: "So sad to hear of the death of George Hamilton 1V. A lovely, godly man and credit to the country music scene. He will be missed."

Hamilton leaves behind his wife Tinky, two sons George V and Peyton, and daughter Mary.

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