Music legend Big Tom passes away

Music legend Big Tom passes away

Leo Varadkar said: "Big Tom was certainly a giant in Irish country music for over 50 years".

The musician, whose real name was Thomas McBride, was affectionately known as Ireland's king of country music. "Our sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and fans". "On the other hand, he was probably heartbroken without his wife, Rose". Every step Tom took, Rose was a step behind him.

Meanwhile Daniel wrote on Facebook: "So sad to hear of Big Tom's passing".

"Big Tom is a household name, not only in Ireland, but in many parts of the UK".

"(Tom) loved singing and loved getting on the stage".

"But Tom McBride was more than just a singer".

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Philomena Begley, who spoke to Tubridy on his radio show this morning, described McBride as being "full of devilment".

President Michael D Higgins referred to Big Tom as one of the most "charismatic and influential artists in Irish country music".

Mr McBride was known for his performances as the lead singer of Irish showband Big Tom And The Mainliners, who were formed in the 1960s. "The many Country music stars that followed Tom had him to thank for so much as he was the first to break into the main stream music business and appeared on many United Kingdom music shows before any other Irish Country music star".

Inducted into the Irish County Music Hall of Fame in 2016, he had numerous hits over the years including Four Country Roads and Old Log Cabin for Sale.

The Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District had commissioned a statue in Big Tom's honour, to stand in Castleblayney, which its councillors had hoped would have been unveiled while he was still alive.

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