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Ray Stevens has canceled his upcoming New Year's Eve show in Nashville in the midst of a personal crisis. The country legend's team turned to social media on Wednesday (Dec. 29) to announce that Stevens' wife, Penny, has reached "end-of-life stage" after a protracted illness.

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you Ray's wife, Penny, has had a prolonged illness and has suddenly and rapidly progressed to the end-of-life stage, and Ray is devastated," states a message on Stevens' Facebook page. "His only focus right now is her."

"Regretfully, Ray will not be able to perform the New Year's Eve show scheduled at the CabaRay, it has been canceled. We are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience and hope you all understand. Please send your thoughts and prayers to Ray and his family during this difficult time."

CabaRay is Stevens' Nashville-area entertainment venue, where he performs on a regular basis. The venue's schedule currently shows no upcoming events as he deals with his wife's health situation.

The 82-year-old country singer and comedian shot to fame with the success of his Grammy-winning hit, "Everything Is Beautiful," in 1970. He won another Grammy for "Misty," and he's also known for comedic hits including "Guitarzan," "The Streak" and "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?" In more recent years, the singer-songwriter and producer has focused on performing at his self-owned CabaRay dinner theater, as well as a series of recording projects. He released a COVID-era satire titled "The Quarantine Song" in 2020.

Stevens is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Christian Music Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at staff@tasteofcountry.com.

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