LEGENDARY Irish country music singer Big Tom McBride has sadly passed away aged 81, his family have confirmed.
The showband leader, best-known as frontman of Big Tom and the Mainliners, died in the early hours of this morning.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning,” a statement on the singer’s official Facebook page said.
“Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family.
“He will be sadly missed by all who new him.
“May he rest in peace.”
Big Tom's death comes just months after his beloved wife Rose passed away in late January.
The singer had suffered health problems over the years and was previously hospitalised in 2006 after suffering a heart attack.
Nevertheless, the 1960's showband legend had been playing live shows up until very recently and remained 'Ireland's king of country music' in the eyes of fans across Ireland.