AceShowbiz - Country veteran Jimmie Rodgers has died at the age of 87.
The "Honeycomb and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" hitmaker passed away from kidney disease on January 18, after testing positive for COVID-19, according to Rodgers' publicist, Alan Eichler.
The star scored his big break after Roulette Records executives signed him following an appearance on a Nashville, Tennessee talent show.
The Washington native recorded a string of country top 10 hits in the late 1950s and 1960s, including "Secretly", "Oh-Oh I'm Falling in Love Again", "The Wreck of the John B", and "English Country Garden".
He also appeared in the films "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come" and "Back Door to Hell", opposite Jack Nicholson.
In 1967, Rodgers was involved in a headline-grabbing Los Angeles freeway altercation with an off-duty police officer, suffering a fractured skull and other injuries. He claimed that he was pulled over and stopped in response to a driver behind him who was flashing his lights. "I rolled the window down to ask what was the matter," he told The Toronto Star in 1987. "That's the last thing I remember."
However, Police officials insisted that Rodgers had injured himself in a fall while drunk. He filed a lawsuit and agreed to a $200,000 (£146,000) settlement.
Rodgers developed a condition that caused spasms in the muscles of his voice box and suffered occasional seizures, which he insisted were linked to the attack.
But the singer bounced back and hosted a TV show on ABC in 1969.