NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jim Foglesong, a record label executive and music producer who helped launch Garth Brooks' career and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, died Tuesday. He was 90.

A statement from his family said Foglesong died at a Nashville hospital after a brief illness.

Foglesong, a West Virginia native, began his career in New York as a session singer, producer and record executive and moved to Nashville in 1970 after helping Columbia Records launch a subsidiary, Epic.

He began as the head of independent label Dot Records in Nashville and, after a series of mergers, took over as president of Capitol Records' Nashville division from 1984 to 1989, where he helped launch the career of Brooks, country music's best-selling artist.

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"Today, the music industry lost its greatest diplomat for kindness, tolerance, faith, and sincerity," Brooks said in an emailed statement. "But do not weep for Jim, I have never met a man with a stronger faith, anyone who knew Jim knows where he is now. Instead, weep for those of us who are left here without him . . . truly, a great, great man."

Foglesong turned to academics later in life and was on the faculty of Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, since 1991.