Charlie Daniels Band Remembers Late Great Frontman on Would-Be 85th Birthday

by Kati Kuuseoks

Charlie Daniels really did something special with his music career over five decades. And as it turns out, over half of his hits come from a little old project known as the Charlie Daniels Band.

Over a year later, his bandmates and crew are still trying to come to terms with his loss.

Today marks the late legend’s would-be 85th birthday and the Charlie Daniels Band decided to share a touching tribute to him on their Instagram page. Here’s what it says.

The Charlie Daniels Band Wishes Him a Happy Heavenly Birthday

The Instagram tribute shows Charlie Daniels in a sharp purple buttoned shirt holding his instrument and looking off into the distance. The caption reminds us that “ON THIS DAY in 1936, Charles Edward Daniels was born.” It proceeds to wish Charlie a “Happy Heavenly Birthday” and the message that “You are missed terribly.” It’s signed off from TeamCDB with two hashtags: #ripcharliedaniels #happybirthday

Charlie Daniels leaves behind his “darlin’ from Tulsa,” Hazel Juanita Alexander Daniels. The two of them celebrated over 56 years of a joyful and successful marriage. Was it perfect? No. But it was the stuff of movies. Charlie once described it saying: “The difference is that we always faced everything together, whether it was repossessed cars, mountainous debt, too many bills and not enough money or whatever else came at us.”

Even posthumously, Charlie Daniels continues to hit career milestones he always dreamed of. Back in August of this year, Pandora actually honored the late star with a “Billionaire Award.” It marks over one billion streams on the music service.

A Commencement Speech Ripe With Life Advice

Back in 1996, Charlie Daniels was invited by the University of North Carolina – Wilmington to speak at their commencement. Set in his hometown, this honor really meant a lot to Charlie. Weeks before he took the stage, though, some students tried to prevent his speech. They launched a smear campaign blasting him in the school press. Instead of fighting fire with fire, Charlie Daniels penned a calm and sincere letter back instead. He then ended up taking the stage and offering some of the greatest life advice you’ll ever hear.

There are too many gems to share, but an especially powerful part of the speech goes like this:

“Ladies and gentlemen, after almost four decades, I can stand here before you and honestly say that it’s been worth every rejection, every ridicule, every ounce of expended energy, every drop of sweat, and every lonely hour I’ve ever spent to achieve the things which make up my dreams. And if you’re thinking ‘Charlie Daniels, you were just lucky,’ I would say to you that I don’t believe in luck, once you’ve set your goal, never, never ever give up.”

You can read his letter and speech here. Otherwise, tune into the video below: