Blake Shelton Gives Emotional Tribute to 'Hero' Earl Thomas Conley, Who Died at 77

"The Voice" coach and the singer were longtime friends.

blake shelton earl thomas conley
Blake Shelton Twitter

The country community is reeling after the passing of Earl Thomas Conley, who died on Wednesday morning following a battle with . The “We Believe in Happy Endings” singer was 77.

The news was particularly difficult for The Voice coach Blake Shelton, who posted a heartbreaking tribute on Twitter. “My heart is absolutely destroyed today… I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero, and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest…”

My heart is absolutely destroyed today... I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest...

— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton)

Blake’s longtime girlfriend Gwen Stefani, echoed Blake’s sentiment with “@blakeshelton thank u for introducing me to this beautiful artist,” she said alongside the same photo that Blake shared, which showed Blake and Earl singing and laughing. “RIP Earl Thomas Conley.”

Toby Keith, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tracy Lawrence, and Dolly Parton’s sister Stella Parton were a few of the many to share kind words about Earl, calling him “one of the great voices in country music.”

Rest In Peace singing brother Earl Thomas Conley gone this morning at age 77 ... so very sad ... via

— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys)

We’ve lost one of the great voices in Country music. My heart is with Earl Thomas Conley’s family.

— Tracy Lawrence (@tracy_lawrence)

Just now seeing tweets that Earl Thomas Conley has passed away. So sad to hear this! He gave us so much incredible music, one of the greatest men in country music. Rest In Peace my friend.

— Stella Parton (@StellaParton)

An all time great. Earl Thomas Conley passed away today. Huge influence on me. Loved him. Prayers to his family. -T

— Toby Keith (@tobykeith)

According to , Earl had a nearly unbroken streak of 18 number one hits in the 80s. Some of his most popular songs include “Holding Her and Loving You” and “Angel in Disguise.” reports that Blake’s favorite album of all time is Earl’s

In addition to being a favorite amongst country stars, Earl was also beloved by his family, according to “He was a great dad, and he filled our lives with color,” said Erinn Scates, his youngest child.

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