Country music star Hank Thompson passed away in his suburban home outside Ft. Worth, Texas, just days after he’d announced his retirement and cancelled a pending tour after a brief hospital stay. The 82-year-old performer’s last show was just three weeks ago, an event where Texas governor Rick Perry and Mayor Virginia DuPuy declared October 8 “Hank Thompson Day” in the singer’s hometown of Waco. According to Thompson spokesman and Heart of Texas Records executive Tracy Pitcox, the 82-year-old singer had been battling an aggressive form of lung cancer.

“He remained conscious until the last couple of hours and passed away peacefully at about 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday night surrounded by his friends and family," Pitcox explained in a press statement.

The gravel-throated Thompson scored nearly 30 Top Ten hits between 1948 and 1975 with his honky tonk and Western swing rooted music, including “A Six Pack to Go” and “Humpty Dumpty Heart.” His 1952 album The Wild Side of Life not only topped the country hit parade, but also inspired an equally renowned “answer” song by Kitty Wells, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honk Tonk Angels,” the record that made her the first female solo act to go to #1 on the country charts.—Jerry McCulley