Country music superstar sadly dies at age 81 in the company of his family in Ireland

Cheryl Kahla
Apr 18, 2018
02:55 P.M.
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Tom McBride, a country singer, guitarist, and saxophone player was the frontman of The Mainliners since the late sixties. He passed away at the age of 81.


On April 17, 2018, McBride's family assured fans that the singer passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. His children added that McBride 'would be sadly missed by all who new [sic] him.'  

As reported by Express, McBride's wife, Rose, passed away on January 30, 2018. Her death impacted the Irish singer greatly, and his life was 'less joyful' since her passing. 

Rose supported McBride throughout his career and was the rock he could rely on. McBride's friend, fellow Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell, noted that there 'is a great reunion in heaven today.'


McBride's colleagues and notable celebrities paid tribute to him on a social media today, including Michael D Higgins, the President of Ireland. 

According to Irish Times, President Higgins described McBride as one of the most charismatic musicians on the Irish country music scene. 

He added that McBride's career spanned more than five decades and that the veteran singer provided 'generous nights of entertainment' to his fans. 


'As one of the most charismatic and influential artists in Irish country music, Big Tom was widely respected and through his five decades of music making he leaves a lasting legacy.'

President Michael D Higgins, Irish Times, April 17, 2018.

McBride is survived by his four children - Thomas, Dermot, Aisling and Siobhán - and President Higgins extended his condolences to them as well. 


McBride joined The Mainliners in 1966 and took on the stage name of Big Tom. He traveled to Nashville in the 1980's, where he recorded his album Blue Wings. 

His last major tour was in 2010, and McBride and the Mainliners continued to perform with sporadic appearances from 2010 until 2018. 

While the cause of death has not yet been made known to the public, McBride underwent nodule surgery in 2000. He also suffered a heart attack six years later, at the age of 70.