Trailblazing country music artist Patrick Haggerty, the founder and lead singer of the band Lavender Country, has died at the age of 78.
In a post to Facebook, the group said Haggerty suffered a stroke just weeks earlier.
He described himselfas a “screaming Marxist b—h singer," and his 1973 album "Lavender Country" is widely considered to be the first country music album recorded by an out gay musician.
Haggerty was LGBTQ activist and advocated for socialist causes, and was a married father of two children.
He once said, “The very thing that sank me in the first place is the very thing that jettisoned me into this position,” he told CNN.
He was essentially not welcomed in the music industry for quite some time, but after he was able to re-release his historic album and record an additional one, "Blackberry Rose," in 2014, he performed with other LGBTQ artists sharing his legacy with millions.
The band Haggerty founded unabashedly explored LGBTQ themes, becoming a landmark group that would disappear for decades.
Haggerty once said that his gay friends in Seattle were “who we made it for, and that’s who we played it to,” he told Pitchfork in 2014.
Haggerty made it his mission to advocate against oppressive systems within the country music industry, Billboard reported.
“That’s the star system — and darling, that’s really f–ked up … The corporate Nashville folks are purporting to be the music of the working class, but you can’t sing about union organizing, or the anti-racist struggle, or class struggle,” he said.
Patrick Haggerty (Lavender Country) was one of the funniest, kindest, bravest, and smartest people I ever met. He never gave up fighting for what he believed in, and those around him who he loved and took care of will continue that fight. RIP Patrick (1944-2022). pic.twitter.com/phjutisgcq— Don Giovanni Records (@DonGiovanniRecs) October 31, 2022
In a post toFacebook, the bank said Haggerty was "able to spend his final days at home surrounded by his kids and lifelong husband, JB."