NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — "Cowboy" Jack Clement, a producer, engineer, songwriter and beloved figure who helped birth rock 'n' roll and push country music into modern times, has died. He was 82.

Dub Cornett, a close friend of Clement's, says his hospice nurse confirmed Clement died Thursday morning. He passed away just months after learning he would be joining the hall of fame, a fitting tip of the cowboy hat to the man whose personal story is entwined with the roots of rock 'n' roll like few others. He was to be inducted at a ceremony later this fall.

Clement's career included stops in Memphis at Sun Records, where he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis, and Nashville, where he was a close collaborator of Johnny Cash, Charley Pride and fellow 2013 inductee Bobby Bare.