Country music legend Merle Haggard's daughter dies from a heart attack. Family breaks the silence

Cheryl Kahla
Apr 12, 2018
04:25 A.M.
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Country singer and songwriter, Merle Haggard, was also known as The Hag. His career spanned nearly six decades and he played in the band, The Strangers.


Haggard passed away on April 6, 2016, at the age of 79. Six days after the 2-year anniversary of his death, his family is morning again, this time for the loss of his daughter Dana. 

On April 11, 2016, Haggard's son, Ben, made the announcement on Instagram, informing fans that his oldest sister had passed away on April 10, at the age of 61. 

As reported by Classic Country Music, Ben shared a beautiful photo of his father and his sister, writing in the caption: 'I know she's hugging dads [sic] arm again.' 


Haggard was married five times and had four children with his first wife, Leona Hobbs. Dana with the eldest, followed by siblings Marty, Kelli, and Noel. 

Dana, along with younger Ben from Haggard's fifth marriage to Theresa Ann Lane, performed in their father's band, The Strangers. Dana was a backup singer, and Ben the lead guitarist. 


When Haggard passed away two years ago, the band finished the final leg of their tour, and Ben's brothers, Noel and Marty, also joined as lead vocals. 

While Ben didn't confirm the cause of death, a close friend of the family, Daniel Toth, told friends on Facebook that it 'appears to be a heart attack.' 


On the same post, Janae Ammons noted that April 'is going to be so hard on the family.' Not only did both Haggard and Dana pass away in April, but Haggard passed away on his birth date as well. 

His cause of death was recorded as 'complications from pneumonia.' Four months before he passed away, Haggard was hospitalized for pneumonia after his tour dates were canceled.