Bluegrass pioneer Jimmy Martin died in Nashville, Tennessee last night (14MAY05) one year after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was 77.

Martin shot to fame in the 1950s with bands such as THE BLUE GRASS BOYS and THE SUNNY MOUNTAIN BOYS, and was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honour in 1995.

The legendary singer and guitarist was later honoured on screen in the 2003 documentary film KING OF BLUEGRASS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JIMMY MARTIN.

Fellow Bluegrass musician Jeff Hanna said of the star, "He's a wild man in the best sense of the term, and he's the only one who brought the fire of rockabilly music to bluegrass."

He is survived by his son, Lee Martin.

15/05/2005 13:57