Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Country legend Big Tom McBride passes away aged 81

Country legend Big Tom McBride passes away aged 81

Ryan Tubridy has paid tribute to country music star Big Tom McBride, who passed away today, ahead of The Late Late Show Country Special this Friday.

Daniel O'Donnell said that big Tom was the pillar of country music, and with the recent passing of his wife Rose Daniel felt that he was probably heartbroken.

In a statement released this morning, his family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning".

The County Monaghan singer, who passed away at the age of 81 on Tuesday, had a remarkable career spanning five decades.

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I enjoyed tremendously meeting him on more than one occasion and getting to know him a little bit and certainly enough to know that this is truly a sad day for the country music scene in Ireland. "May his gentle soul rest in peace". He was given a lifetime acheivment award in 2016 at the Irish Country Music Awards.

The "Country Roads" singer was a frequent visitor to the north west, and last August performed at the Millennium Forum in Derry during a special tribute night to him as part of TG4's Opry Dhoire concerts, alongside other musical favourites from across the country including Susan McCann and Dickie Rock. When first introduced to Tom by Joe Finnegan more than 20 years ago we became great friends and he would regular call me to chat about my Sunday morning show and the new talent that I introduced there.

Daniel O'Donnell pictured with the late Tom McBride.

"Not many people are known by their first name, but that was Big Tom". He meant so much to people and so much to the country singers in Ireland. Above all, he was a family man. Tom, and his late wife Rose, formed a strong team in their household and in the wider community.

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