On February 13, 2002, Waylon Jennings died after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems. The country legend was said to have died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Chandler, Arizona. He was 64.
Unfortunately, Jennings’ unhealthy lifestyle – with decades of excessive smoking, drug use, and poor diet – led to diabetes, which made him miserable. In 2000, he even had his left foot amputated following a diabetes-related infection.
Waylon Jennings was buried in the City of Mesa Cemetery in nearby Mesa, Arizona. A headstone was placed on his grave, which comes with his famous “Flying “W” symbol.
His Death Hit Country Music Community Real Hard
Several country stars whose music he influenced and the lives he touched reacted to Waylon Jennings’ death. This includes Martina McBride, who noted how Jennings didn’t just open doors, but “knocked down doors for all artists who want to break the mold.” Meanwhile, Kix Brooks revealed that the legendary singer was one of the reasons he got into country music.
More than a month after his death, Jennings was honored by his friends during a memorial service at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. This includes Kris Kristofferson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt, and more.
Jennings actually has one of the most illustrious careers in country music. For five decades, he had recorded 50 albums and charted several singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with 16 of them reaching the top spot.
He had his greatest run of successes in the 1970s with a bass-driven sound that yielded from years of experimenting with honky-tonk-flavored music. Among the most popular songs of Waylon Jennings are “I’m a Ramblin’ Man,” “Good Hearted Woman,” “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” “Rose in Paradise,” “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” “Are You Sure Hank Done It,” “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” and “Amanda.”
Truly, Waylon Jennings has become one of country music’s most enduring and distinctive hitmakers. He will never be forgotten.