(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)
Legendary country music entertainer Slim Dusty has died aged 76.
Dusty passed away at his home at 9.46am (AEST) today after a protracted battle with cancer, EMI marketing manager Chris O'Hearne said.
Prime Minister John Howard said Slim Dusty was a one-off and a great Australian icon.
He said the legacy of the singer was a very distinctive Australian brand of country music.
"He really created that himself," Mr Howard told journalists.
"We'll always remember that special style, epitomised really by A pub with no beer, the first Australian song to acquire gold record status.
Dusty also had a profound effect on most of Australia's younger country music stars, many of whom would feel like they've lost a father today.
"So many of the other rising stars of Australian music, they all considered it the most enormous honour to be given the opportunity to record a duet with him or perform on stage with him.
"In some ways it's going to be like the loss of a father ... there were always the moments that reflected that."
One of those was when the now-queen of country music, Kasey Chambers, arrived at her first ARIA awards where she won her first award.
"She arrived at the ARIA awards and walked up the red carpet arm-in-arm with Slim Dusty, it was just wonderful."
Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick in 1927 in Kempsey, on the NSW mid-north coast, he wrote his first song The Way the Cowboy Dies at the age of 10.
A year later he changed his name to Slim Dusty and later went on to record a string of hits including The Pub With No Beer the biggest selling record by an Australian.
He was the first Australian to receive a Gold Record, the first to have an international record hit, and the first singer in the world to have his voice beamed to earth from space.
His wife Joy, son David and daughter Anne were at his bedside when the 76-year-old singer passed away at his home in Sydney, Mr O'Hearne said.
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