Country star Don Williams, 'the Gentle Giant,' dead at 78

Image License Photo: Don Williams / Facebook
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Don Williams, an award-winning country singer with love ballads like "I Believe in You," has died. He was 78.

A statement from his publicist said he died Friday after a short illness.

Williams had 17 No. 1 hits and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. His mellow sound influenced a later generation of singers including Joe Nichols and Josh Turner.

Williams, nicknamed "the Gentle Giant," had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style.

His hits included "I Believe in You," "Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good," "You're My Best Friend," "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend," "Till the Rivers All Run Dry" and "Back in My Younger Days."