Music legend Big Tom passes away

Erika Holt
April 17, 2018

Ryan Tubridy has paid tribute to country music star Big Tom McBride, who passed away today, ahead of The Late Late Show Country Special this Friday.

As one of the most charismatic and influential artists in Irish country music, Big Tom was widely respected and through his five decades of music making he leaves a lasting legacy.

'Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family.

Among those who paid tribute to him were Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Donegal's Daniel O'Donnell. "May he rest in peace", the statement continued.

The hugely popular singer, from Castleblayney in Co Monaghan, became known as "the king" of the Irish country scene in the 60s and 70s.

In 1965, he formed the music group "Big Tom and the Mainliners", becoming a regular on the Irish showband scene and touring Ireland and the UK.

He was one of several artists who took part in a charity concert in Letterkenny a year ago following the August floods that devastated parts of Donegal.

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Daniel O'Donnell pictured with the late Tom McBride.

Big Tom with Brendan McCahey of the Voice of Ireland (left) and Kentstown musician, Tommy Darby (right) in 2014.

Big Tom McBride, pictured with his wife the late Rosie McBride, died on Monday morning.

"Irish music has truly lost a legend today".

"Like many people around the country, we have all learned with great sadness of the death of Big Tom". His contribution to Irish social and cultural life in this area has been enormous. I am sure his family are devastated at his passing.

"But Tom McBride was more than just a singer. Our sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and fans".

Big Tom's house is strictly private.

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