The world is now learning the sad news that country music legend Billy Joe Shaver has passed away at the age of 81. Early reports are indicating that he suffered a stroke at Ascension Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas. Shaver was an accomplished singer-songwriter who drew acclaim from his fans and colleagues. Willie Nelson famously called Shaver, “the greatest living songwriter.”




Shaver burst on the country music scene with his 1973 debut album, “Old Five and Dimers Like Me.” He was often grouped into the “outlaw country” movement that included Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, who also recorded Shaver’s songs.

In fact, Jennings’ 1973 album, “Honky Tonk Heroes” included ten songs that were written by Billy Joe Shaver.

Shaver also wrote hit songs for Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe, Patty Loveless, Tom T Hall, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Paycheck.




When he wasn’t busy writing hits for others, he was releasing his own music. Shaver had 17 studio albums, and was releasing music through 2014.

The movie “A Portrait of Billy Joe,” released in 2004, was a documentary about Shaver’s life and success with country music and his hectic personal life.

Shaver married and divorced the same woman, Brenda Tindell, three times. He also married and divorced another woman twice, Wanda Lynn Canady.




He last made national headlines when he was involved in a shooting outside a bar in Lorena, Texas. Shaver was acquitted on murder charges after claiming self-defense. He later said of the altercation, “Hit him right between the mother and the f-er. Fixed him right up.”

Rest in peace, Billy Joe. You will be missed!