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."