Country star Jason Aldean paid his respects to the late Gregg Allman in an emotional Facebook post on Saturday (May 27), shortly after news of the music icon's death began circulating. Like many fans of the singer-songwriter, Aldean admitted, "This one hurts a lot."

"This was one of my heroes. He made it seem possible for a kid to come out of Macon, Georgia, make a name for himself and make it in this business. He was such an inspiration to so many of us that tried so hard to imitate him but could just never quite do it the same," Aldean writes in his tribute to Allman. "Thanks for the music, and thanks for making me believe I could achieve my music dreams too."

Although Allman was born in Nashville, he and brother Duane Allman were living in Macon, Ga. -- following some time in Los Angeles -- when they formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 with Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson. A native of Macon himself, Aldean performed with Gregg Allman in 2013, at the All for the Hall New York concert, benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Country Artists Pay Tribute to Gregg Allman

News of Allman’s death, at the age of 69, broke on Saturday afternoon; per a statement on Allman’s official website, the Southern rock icon — both a solo artist and a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band — “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Ga.”

Allman’s health had declined in recent years: In March of 2017, he canceled all of his tour plans for the remainder of the year. On April 24, rumors began to circulate that Allman had entered hospice care, but the singer soon made it clear that he was not in hospice, but was “resting on my doctor’s orders.”

“Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul,” the statement on Allman’s website reads. “Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

Ranking the Allman Brothers' Albums

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