The musician, who played with stars including Ray Charles, Randy Travis, and Conway Twitty in a career spanning more than four decades, passed away on Tuesday (30Aug16) after a battle with cancer.

Born on a small farm in Kentucky, Hester began playing the fiddle as a child and after earning success in musical contests embarked on a career as a session musician.

He recorded with some of country music's most famous names, and appeared regularly on U.S. television in the 1980s as the fiddle player in the house band on the show Nashville Now.

Five years after the the show ended in 1993, he helped found the Grammy-nominated Western swing band The Time Jumpers.

Hester was also a member of the staff band for the famous Grand Ole Opry weekly country music concerts for more than 12 years from 2000.

Eddie Stubbs, who serves as an announcer at the Nashville, Tennessee concerts remembered Humphrey as an exceptional musician with a friendly character.

"He was always a positive person to be around," Stubbs told The Tennessean newspaper. "He was a dependable person, a team player, and a tasteful musician. Whatever was required of him, he did it well."

Hester is survived by Lola, his wife of 39 years, their children, Becca, Jonathan, and Rachael, a musician who performed with her dad in his final years.