Jody Payne, longtime guitarist for Willie Nelson, died on Saturday in Alabama at the age of 77. Payne reportedly suffered from cardiac problems and woke up early on Saturday feeling ill, causing his wife, Vicki Fisher, to call an ambulance.

Payne worked with Nelson for over three decades, from 1973 to 2008, and took pride in their work together.

“We created musical history. It wasn’t me, it was us. I was just a small part of something people wanted to hear, and we entertained them,” Payne told the Mobile Press-Register in 2011 after his retirement.

Nelson expressed his sadness at the loss on Facebook, posting, “Sad to report that Jody Payne passes away. Our friend will be missed.”

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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