In the later part of his life, Rich acquired the nickname the Silver Fox. He is perhaps best remembered for a pair of 1973 hits, "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl". "The Most Beautiful Girl" topped the U.S. country singles charts, as well as the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles charts and earned him two Grammy Awards. Rich was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
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Rich was born in Colt, Arkansas, to rural cotton farmers. He graduated from Consolidated High School in Forrest City, where he played saxophone in the band. He was strongly influenced by his parents, members of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Forrest City, as his mother, Helen Rich, played piano and his father sang in gospel quartets.
Charlie Rich and his wife were driving to Florida for a vacation after seeing their son Allan perform with Freddy Fender at Lady Luck Casino in Natchez, Mississippi when he experienced a bout of severe coughing. After visiting a doctor in St. Francisville, Louisiana and receiving antibiotics, he continued traveling until he stopped to rest for the night. Rich died in his sleep on July 25, 1995, in a Hammond, Louisiana motel; he was 62 years old. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. He was buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.
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