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Hank Williams Jr. released this statement regarding his longtime manager and close friend, legendary songwriter Merle Kilgore, who passed away Feb. 6. "Merle was more to me than a manager," said Hank. "He was a father figure, he was a mentor, he was my business advisor, but most of all, Merle Kilgore, was my best friend. He's shared the good times with me and carried me through the bad-without judgment and without hesitation. He had heart, soul, compassion, business savvy, and a sense of humor. He's the definition of gentleman and scholar. I shall never know a greater man. The industry has lost an icon. I have lost a forever friend."

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