Glen Campbell Biography: Age, Net Worth, Death, Wife, Songs, Awards, Children, Height

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Glen Campbell was a legendary country singer, guitarist, songwriter, and actor who rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s with his blend of pop, folk, and rock influences.

He sold over 45 million records worldwide and had 80 songs on the Billboard charts, including 21 top 10 hits and nine number ones.

He also starred in several movies, most notably True Grit (1969) opposite John Wayne. He hosted his popular T.V. show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, featuring musical guests and comedy sketches.

He influenced many artists across genres, such as Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, John Mayer, and Sheryl Crow.

He was also a pioneer in raising awareness and fighting the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease, which he publicly announced in 2011 and documented in the 2014 film Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.

He continued to perform and record until his final album, Adiós, was released 2017 shortly before his death.


  • Full name: Glen Travis Campbell
  • Nickname: The Rhinestone Cowboy
  • Date of birth: April 22, 1936
  • Age: 81 years (at the time of death)
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Billstown, Arkansas, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor
  • Height: 6 ft (1.83 m)
  • Parents: John Wesley Campbell and Carrie Dell Stone Campbell
  • Siblings: 11 (six of whom also became musicians)
  • Spouse: Diane Kirk (1955-1959), Billie Jean Nunley (1959-1976), Sarah Barg (1976-1980), Kim Woollen (1982-2017)
  • Children: 9 (Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, Dillon, Cal, Shannon, Ashley, Nicklaus)
  • Relationship status: Married (to Kim Woollen) at the time of death
  • Net worth: $50 million

Early Life & Education

Glen Travis Campbell was born on April 22, 1936, in Billstown, a tiny community near Delight, Arkansas.

He was the seventh of 12 children of John Wesley Campbell, a sharecropper, and Carrie Dell Stone Campbell, a homemaker. He grew up in a poor and rural environment, exposed to various musical genres, such as gospel, country, and blues.

He received his first guitar when he was four years old, a gift from his father, who ordered it from a Sears catalog. He taught himself to play by listening to the radio and records and by practicing with his uncle Boo, who was also a musician.

He did not have much formal education, as he dropped out of school after completing the fifth grade. He worked as a farmhand, truck driver, and gas station attendant while pursuing his musical passion.

He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when he was 16 to join his uncle’s band, Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys, as a guitarist and singer.

He also hosted his own radio show and appeared on local T.V. programs. He married his first wife, Diane Kirk, in 1955, when he was 19 and she was 15. They had one daughter, Debby, but divorced in 1959.

Personal Life

Glen Campbell had a turbulent and complicated personal life, marked by four marriages, nine children, substance abuse, legal troubles, and health issues. He married his second wife, Billie Jean Nunley, a beautician, in 1959, and they had three children: Kelli, Travis, and Kane.

They moved to Los Angeles in 1960, where Campbell became a successful session musician and a solo artist. However, their marriage was strained by his busy schedule, his infidelity, and his alcoholism. They separated in 1974 and divorced in 1976.

He married his third wife, Sarah Barg, a former Mac Davis groupie, in 1976, shortly after she divorced Davis. They had one son, Dillon, but their marriage also ended in divorce in 1980, after Campbell had an affair with country singer Tanya Tucker, who was 22 years younger than him.

Their relationship was tumultuous and publicized, as they recorded a duet album, toured together, and fought frequently. They broke up in 1981 amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse.

He married his fourth and final wife, Kim Woollen, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, in 1982 after meeting her on a blind date. They had three children, Cal, Shannon, and Ashley, who are also musicians and performed with their father on his farewell tour.

They remained married until he died in 2017, and she was his primary caregiver during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She helped him cope with his condition and encouraged him to continue his musical career as long as possible. She also supported his decision to go public with his diagnosis and to make a documentary about his final years.

Campbell had two other children from extramarital affairs: a daughter, Nicklaus, with Sydney Martin, and a son, James, with Connie Tucker. He acknowledged them as his children but did not have a close relationship with them.

Campbell struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years, which affected his personal and professional life. He was arrested several times for drunk driving, assault, and drug possession. He also attempted suicide in 1981 after breaking up with Tanya Tucker.

He credited his faith and marriage to Kim Woollen for helping him overcome his demons. He became a born-again Christian in the early 1980s and joined the Baptist church. He also quit smoking, drinking, and using drugs and adopted a healthier lifestyle.

He remained sober for the rest of his life, except for a brief relapse in 2003, when he was arrested for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and community service.

Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 after experiencing memory loss and cognitive decline for several years. He announced his condition to the public and embarked on a farewell tour, accompanied by his family and friends.


Glen Campbell’s long and successful career spanned six decades and across multiple genres. He started as a session musician in Los Angeles, playing guitar for some of the biggest names in music, such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, and The Byrds.

He was part of the famous group of studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, who played on hundreds of hit records in the 1960s and 1970s. He also joined The Beach Boys as a touring member in 1964 and 1965, filling in for Brian Wilson, who had retired from live performances.

He launched his solo career in 1962 with the release of his debut album, Big Bluegrass Special. He had his first hit in 1965, with a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” which reached number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100.

He achieved his breakthrough in 1967 when he teamed up with producer and songwriter Jimmy Webb, who wrote some of his most famous songs, such as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “Galveston.”

These songs showcased Campbell’s ability to blend country, pop, and rock elements, and to convey emotion and storytelling with his voice. He won four Grammy Awards in 1968, two in the country category and two in the pop category, for “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Gentle on My Mind,” another signature song John Hartford wrote.

He also ventured into acting, making his film debut in 1967 in The Cool Ones. He starred in his most notable role in 1969, in True Grit, opposite John Wayne, who won an Oscar for his performance.

Campbell played La Boeuf, a Texas Ranger who joins Wayne’s character, Rooster Cogburn, in the pursuit of a fugitive. He also sang the theme song for the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

He continued to act in other films, such as Norwood (1970), The Last Movie (1971), and Any Which Way You Can (1980), but he was more successful as a T.V. personality. He hosted his variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969 to 1972, which featured musical guests and comedy sketches.

He also hosted specials, such as The Glen Campbell Music Show (1982-1983) and The Glen Campbell Christmas Show (1986). He appeared as a guest on many other shows, such as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, The Muppet Show, Hee Haw, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

He reached the peak of his popularity in the mid-1970s when he released his best-selling album, Rhinestone Cowboy (1975), which sold over five million copies and spawned two number-one hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.).”

He followed it with another successful album, Southern Nights (1977), which featured the number-one hit “Southern Nights”, written by Allen Toussaint. He also collaborated with artists such as Bobbie Gentry, Anne Murray, Rita Coolidge, and Jimmy Webb.

He faced a decline in his career in the late 1970s and 1980s as his music became less relevant and appealing to the audience’s changing tastes. He also suffered from his problems, such as his divorce from Sarah Barg, his breakup with Tanya Tucker, and his substance abuse.

He tried to reinvent himself as a contemporary country artist but failed to regain his former success. He had a few minor hits, such as “Still Within the Sound of My Voice” (1987), “She’s Gone, Gone, Gone” (1989), and “I Have You” (1991), but he mostly relied on touring and performing his old classics.

He experienced a resurgence in his career in the 1990s and 2000s, as he was recognized and honored for his achievements and influence. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

He also released several critically acclaimed albums, such as Meet Glen Campbell (2008), which featured covers of songs by contemporary artists, such as U2, Foo Fighters, and Green Day, and Ghost on the Canvas (2011), which was his farewell album and featured collaborations with Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, and Billy Corgan.

He also recorded his final album, Adiós, in 2012 and 2013, released in 2017 after his death. It included covers of songs by his friends and influences, such as Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Fred Neil.

He also continued to perform live despite his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He embarked on a farewell tour called The Goodbye Tour, which lasted from 2011 to 2014 and featured his family and friends as his backing band and guests.

He played over 150 shows and received standing ovations and rave reviews from fans and critics. He also documented his tour and condition in the 2014 film Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, directed by James Keach and produced by Julian Raymond.

The film was praised for its honesty and courage and for raising awareness and compassion for Alzheimer’s disease. It also featured his song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which he co-wrote with Raymond and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

He retired from public life in 2014, as his disease progressed, and he moved to a specialized care facility in Nashville. He died on August 8, 2017, at the age of 81, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

He was surrounded by his family and friends and was buried in his hometown of Delight, Arkansas. He was mourned by millions of fans and fellow artists, who paid tribute to his legacy and influence.


Glen Campbell won numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including:

  • 10 Grammy Awards, including four in 1968, two in the country category and two in the pop category, for “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Gentle on My Mind,” and one in 2015 for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”
  • 6 Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1968 and 1969 and the Pioneer Award in 2016.
  • 3 American Music Awards, including Favorite Country Male Artist in 1976, 1977, and 1978.
  • 2 Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1968 and Male Vocalist of the Year in 1968 and 1969.
  • 1 Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “True Grit” in 1969.
  • 1 Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer – Male for True Grit in 1970.
  • 1 BAFTA nomination for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles for True Grit in 1970.
  • 1 GMA Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year for “Amazing Grace” in 1992.
  • 1 BMI Icon Award, in 2008.
  • 1 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • 1 MusiCares Person of the Year in 2012.
  • 1 Congressional Gold Medal, in 2012.
  • 1 Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 (posthumously awarded by President Obama).


Glen Campbell died on August 8, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 81, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

He was surrounded by his family and friends and was buried in his hometown of Delight, Arkansas. He was mourned by millions of fans and fellow artists, who paid tribute to his legacy and influence.

His family released a statement, saying: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon, and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace ‘Shorty’ and Gerald.


Glen Campbell was involved in several controversies and scandals throughout his life, such as:

  • His substance abuse and addiction, which led to his arrests for drunk driving, assault, and drug possession, and his suicide attempt in 1981.
  • His affair with Tanya Tucker, which was widely publicized and criticized, and which ended in a bitter and violent breakup in 1981.
  • His legal disputes with his former wives and children, who sued him for alimony, child support, and inheritance.
  • His political views, which were conservative and sometimes controversial, such as his support for the Vietnam War, his opposition to abortion, and his endorsement of George W. Bush.
  • His diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was questioned and challenged by some of his children, who accused his wife Kim of isolating him from them and mismanaging his affairs.

Social Media

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  • Twitter handle: N/A


  • The Cool Ones
  • True Grit
  • Norwood
  • The Last Movie
  • Strange Homecoming
  • Christmas in Disneyland
  • Any Which Way You Can
  • Uphill All the Way
  • Rock-A-Doodle
  • Players
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me


  • Big Bluegrass Special
  • Gentle on My Mind
  • By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  • A New Place in the Sun
  • Hey Little One
  • Galveston
  • Try a Little Kindness
  • The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album
  • Norwood
  • The Last Time I Saw Her
  • Anne Murray / Glen Campbell
  • Glen Travis Campbell
  • I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star)
  • I Remember Hank Williams
  • Houston (I’m Comin’ to See You)
  • Reunion: The Songs of Jimmy Webb
  • Rhinestone Cowboy
  • Bloodline
  • Southern Nights
  • Basic
  • Highwayman
  • Somethin’ ‘Bout You Baby I Like
  • It’s the World Gone Crazy
  • Old Home Town
  • Letter to Home
  • It’s Just a Matter of Time


Glen Campbell wrote or co-wrote several books, such as:

  • Rhinestone Cowboy: An Autobiography
  • Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World’s Greatest Unfinished Song
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Net Worth

Glen Campbell had an estimated net worth of $50 million at his death.

He earned wealth from record sales, concert tours, T.V. shows, film appearances, and endorsements.

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