Charlie Daniels Pianist 'Taz' Dies At 67

10/14/2011 06:26 PM ET

Charlie Daniels band member "Taz" has died at the age of 67. His real name was Joel DiGregorio, and he was the group's keyboard player and vocalist. He is also the co-writer of the legendary country-rock song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Taz died on Wednesday night due to injuries he received in a car accident. His car flipped over on Interstate 40 just west of Nashville. He was on his way to Georgia for a concert, which was subsequently canceled.

From Southbridge, Mass., he was an original member of the band for more than 40 years.

"It won't be easy without him," Charlie Daniels said in a statement. "He was an intricate part of our sound for 40 years. If you listened to our records, you could hear Taz all over them."

"I am in shock now, Taz was one of my best friends," says Charlie Daniels. "The CDB family has lost a great friend and musician. We traveled many miles together and shared so many nights on the road. We're going to miss you buddy. You were one of a kind and will never be forgotten. We send our deepest condolences to the family."

Daniels said that the band would resume shows next weekend in Oklahoma, with the band carrying on short one member. "I can't come to grips with replacing him right now, but I will," Daniels said.

Daniels won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979 for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," which reached No. 3 on the charts. The following year, "Devil" became a major crossover success on rock radio stations, after its inclusion on the soundtrack for the hit movie Urban Cowboy.

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