Sad news this morning as it has been announced that Irish country music legend Big Tom has died. He was 81.
The Monaghan native, full name Tom McBride, began his musical career in 1966 and was best known for fronting the showband Big Tom and the Mainliners, who had toured up until recent years.
His family released a statement announcing his passing, which read:
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning.
Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
May he rest in peace.''
Fans have been paying tribute to 'Ireland's King of Country Music' on social media:
— john mc nicholl (@johnmcnicholl) April 17, 2018
Big Tom RIP.
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) April 17, 2018
He belting out “Four Country Roads” not a care in the world on him and the audience lapping up every note not giving a collective damn about the seemingly impending nuclear fireball. And I knew at that moment I was home and it was the right decision.
— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) April 17, 2018
— eamon carr (@carrtogram) April 17, 2018
Big Tom McBride, Ireland’s King of Country has passed away @morningireland
— Gavin Jennings (@DrGavinJennings) April 17, 2018
R.I.P. Big Tom.#Legend
— The West Awake (@erniehoff1) April 17, 2018
Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Tom Mcbride "big Tom" last night . We have lost one of Irelands great music legends . R.I.P.
— Ireland's Country (@irelandscountry) April 17, 2018