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Branson mourns loss of singer Andy Williams

Paul L McCord Jr.

Performers and officials in Branson are mourning the loss of singer Andy Williams, who has died at age 84.

Williams' publicist Paul Shefrin says Williams died Tuesday at his Branson area home after a yearlong battle cancer. Williams had 18 gold records and three platinum records and was nominated for five Grammy awards.

He moved to Branson in the early 1990s and opened the Moon River Theater there.

Singers Tony Orlando and Jimmy Osmond say Williams convinced them and other performers to come to Branson, which opened up a new audience for the country music stronghold. Orlando says Branson and the nation have lost a "great American treasure."

Mayor Raeanne Presley says Williams was a major presence in Branson, where he was involved in local charities.

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