Esteemed Country Music Journalist Hazel Smith Dead At 83

Country music journalist Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83. She was responsible for coining the ‘outlaw’ term that artists like Willie Nelson were categorized under.

By Admin on March 19, 2018
hazel smith
(Photo by Rusty Russell/Getty Images)

Country music journalist Hazel Smith died in her home in Tennessee on Sunday night (Mar. 18) at the age of 83.

Hazel had been suffering from a decline in health since a cancer operation in 2007. She was still very active in the music community during her final years, Taste of Country reports.

Hazel is famous for coining the “Outlaw” name that defined a generation in country music. Artists like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and more fell into that category in the mid-seventies. She said in an interview with Nashville Scene in 1997 about the term:

“Now, it doesn’t say this in mine or any other dictionary I’ve seen, but it said that outlaw meant virtually living on the outside of the written law. It just made sense to me, because Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins were doing marvelous music, but this was another step in another direction.”

Hazel’s influence in country music is huge. She will be missed!

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