“Heartbroken is not a strong enough word to describe the way I’m feeling after learning that Charlie has passed away. He was so much more than a dear friend to me. He was a mentor, a father figure, an inspiration, and the ultimate encourager,” Tritt tells Billboard by email. “Just being in his presence was always uplifting to my spirit. I have so many great memories of Charlie, but the ones I treasure the most are the many one on one conversations we’ve shared over the past 35 years. I’m grateful that the last tour that Charlie did was with me. We shared a bond like no other. He will be in my thoughts and in my heart every day for the rest of my life.”
Tritt toured with The Charlie Daniels Band just last year for a co-headling Outlaws & Renegades Tour that ran across the U.S. from March to August. The 57-year-old country-rock artist also wrote on Instagram today that he cherishes all the memories he has “touring, performing, writing and recording with Charlie, but my favorite memories are of simply talking with the man when it was just the two of us alone.” He also credits Daniels as the “first legendary artist” to help him get his start in the music business.
See Tritt’s Instagram tribute below.