John and George Strait in 2007
George Strait is in mourning.
The music legend
, 61, announced in a statement that his 91-year-old father, John Byron Strait – a former Texas junior high school teacher – died Tuesday after battling a lengthy illness.
"We are grateful for the time over the last few weeks we were able to spend with Daddy before he passed away," the country singer said in a statement posted on his website
. "I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time as we mourn our family's loss."
Strait also canceled his scheduled Wednesday night appearance at the CMT Awards.
The CMT Awards air Wednesday on CMT at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CMT and CMT.com