Merle Ronald Haggard is an American country and Western song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era. By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. In 1994, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1997, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
- Born: April 6, 1937 (age 81), Oildale
- Spouse: Theresa Ann Lane (1993-09-11 to present - Marriage), Bonnie Owens (1965 to 1978 - Marriage), Leona Hobbs (1956 to 1964 - Marriage), Debbie Parret (1985-06-01 to 1991 - Marriage), Leona Williams (1978-10-07 to 1983 - Marriage)
- Aliases: Hag, Haggard, Merle, Haggard, Merle & Strangers, The, Merle Haggard and the Strangers, Merle Ronald Haggard, Mighty Merle, Okie From Muskogee, The Hag, The Poet of the Common Man
- Children: Ben Haggard, Dana Haggard, Jenessa Haggard, Kelli Haggard, Marty Haggard, Noel Haggard
- Height: 5′ 9″ (1.75m)
- Genre: Country, Outlaw country
- Websites: http://www.merlehaggard.com/