Country's biggest stars have been tipping their hats to Merle Haggard for decades. Songs pay homage to the Hag directly or just in passing reference, as in, "This is what everyone should be listening to." Here are some of the most popular songs that name-drop Haggard in some form or fashion.

Legends like David Allan Coe and Hank Williams Jr. were among the first to do it chronologically, along with the late George Jones. Newcomers like Jake Owen and Florida Georgia Line practically started their careers with Haggard references, while Eric Church delivers perhaps the most well-known pro-Hag song — the Bakersfield original even sings with him at the end.

Of course, these aren't the only artists who've paid tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Montgomery Gentry did as well in their hit song "She Couldn't Change Me." Flip through our list and revisit some great Hag-centric lyrics. We stuck to well-known album cuts or singles for this list, but if there's one you think is deserving, let us know.

Haggard died at the age of 79 on Wednesday (April 6) in Palo Cedro, Calif. He'd been battling health issues for several months and was in hospice at the time of his death. His son Ben shared that Haggard predicted the day of his own death one week ago, not long after he'd canceled all remaining April shows.

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