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Read Tom Waits’ Moving, Poetic Tribute to Merle Haggard

Read Tom Waits' Moving, Poetic Tribute to Merle Haggard

"His last name will always be an adjective," Waits writes in emotional remembrance

Tom Waits wrote an emotional tribute for his teenage hero Merle Haggard. Read it below. Drew Kelly/Redux, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Growing up around San Diego, California, Tom Waits was drawn to the far-away sounds of the Delta blues, Motown, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra. But another artist from closer to home also made a mark on the singer-songwriter: Merle Haggard, who passed away on April 6th, his 79th birthday, due to complications from pneumonia. In the exclusive tribute below, which will be included in Rolling Stone's Haggard cover story package, Waits remembers the impact the country great had on his early years and looks back on Haggard's legacy.

Tom Waits poem

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