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Famed country music broadcaster Ralph Emery has died at 88

The Tennessean reports that in a statement from a family member, Emery passed peacefully surrounded by family.
Credit: AP
Ralph Emery arrives at the Academy of Country Music Honors awards Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in Nashville, Tenn. ( AP Photo/John Russell)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One of country music's well-known figures has died. Ralph Emery, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and former host of The Nashville Network primetime talk show Nashville Now died at the age of 88.

The Tennessean reports that one of Emery's family members said in a statement that Emery "passed away peacefully" surrounded by family Saturday morning at the Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.

With a 50 year career, the Country Music Association said that Emery has been called “the Dick Clark of Country Music” and the dean of Country Music broadcasters. 

“Ralph Emery was often better known than the stars he introduced to larger and larger audiences over the years as Country Music’s foremost ambassador. Our format had no better voice over the years than Ralph, who treated Country Music and its stars – many of whom went on to become his friend – with the kind of dignity and respect they deserved for decades. As a Country Music Hall of Famer, he will be remembered among so many of the artists he supported throughout his career. On a personal note, I worked with Ralph for many years, and I always looked forward to his lively stories when we sat down for lunch. My thoughts are with his family today," said Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO.

Emery leaves behind his wife, Joy Emery, his three sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.