What Country Music Star Just Died?

A sad day comes when a country music star passes away. For fans of country music, however, the loss is even more heartbreaking when someone you admire passes away suddenly.

Mac Davis was an iconic artist in the industry and her openness about mental health and substance abuse issues earned her a large fan base. It’s truly tragic to lose such an inspiring figure.

Kenny Rogers

Rogers’ distinctive voice and relaxed approach to sexuality propelled him into legendary stardom, selling millions of records and earning three Grammys, 18 American Music Awards, as well as induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His signature song “The Gambler” made it to number one on the charts along with hits such as “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream” and “Lucille.”

On August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas, Rogers began his singing career with jazz group the Bobby Doyle Three as a teenager and eventually transitioned into country music. His first hit single “That Crazy Feeling” was released in 1957.

He married Janice Gordon in 1958 and they had one daughter together, Carole. Subsequently, the couple divorced.

According to The National Enquirer, 81-year-old Rogers had battled bladder cancer and hepatitis C for many years before succumbing on Friday night after a protracted battle with these illnesses.

Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry was half of the legendary country duo Montgomery Gentry. He has been one of the most influential figures in country music history and was renowned for his virtuosic guitar playing, sharp wit, and ability to entertain audiences with authenticity.

In September 2017, he and the pilot died in a helicopter crash while on their way to a concert at Medford, NJ’s Flying W Airport.

This helicopter, which had an engine that failed to start properly, crashed into a field while trying to land. The pilot was identified as James Evan Robinson from nearby. This tragic event made headlines across social media and caused an industry-wide moment of silence in honor of this fallen legend.

Don Williams

Don Williams has been known as the Gentle Giant since the early ’70s. His laid-back vocal style and large, imposing build helped him achieve success not only in America, but also across England and Europe.

He began as part of a folk-pop trio with Lofton Kline and Susan Taylor in Corpus Christi, Texas before venturing out on his own. Jack Clement’s Jack Music Publishing in Nashville signed him and published several of his original songs including the hit “Amanda,” which became an instant hit for him.

After the Pozo Seco Singers broke up, he worked odd jobs as a driver and bill collector before opening up a furniture store with his father-in-law. In 1972 he signed as a songwriter/song salesman for Jack Music Publishing which led to his first recording contract with JMI Records in 1979. Throughout the ’70s he had many hits such as “Tulsa Time,” which earned him recognition by Academy of Country Music in 1979 as Single Record of the Year.

Doug Supernaw

On November 13, Doug Supernaw, a beloved honky-tonk singer born and raised in Bryan, Texas, succumbed to cancer at the age of 60. Diagnosed with advanced stage IV lung and bladder cancer last February, he was placed into hospice care last month.

Supernaw was born in 1960 and began his long career in country music with his debut album Red and Rio Grande in 1993. This record produced two hits: “Reno” and the poignant country ballad “I Don’t Call Him Daddy.”

Supernaw had released a number of successful singles, including “Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Mind,” but returned to live performances in the 2000s. Despite legal and personal struggles during that time, he continued performing live at events like CMA Music Festival in Nashville.

Hal Ketchum

Hal Ketchum, the country music star who achieved worldwide success with hit singles such as “Small Town Saturday Night,” “Past the Point of Rescue” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll,” passed away at 67 years old after suffering from dementia. His wife Andrea confirmed the sad news to fans on Tuesday on Facebook.

Ketchum, originally from Greenwich, New York, relocated to Texas during the Eighties and quickly established himself in its Hill Country dance halls. In 1991 he signed with Nashville-based Curb Records and his debut album Past the Point of Rescue went gold.

He followed it up with two more albums that reached the top ten, 1992’s Sure Love and 1994’s Every Little Word. His releases were more intimate than many of the fervent country hits of their era.

In 1998, Ketchum was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a neurological disease that affected his spinal column and left him unable to use his left side of the body. To cope with his illness, he had to relearn everything from how to sing and play guitar again to everyday tasks. Eventually he retired to a cabin in Wimberley, Texas, where he spent the remainder of his days.

Jim Nabors

Jim Nabors, 87 years old and best known for his role as a gas-station attendant-turned Marine Corps recruit on two of television’s most beloved programs of the 1960s, passed away Thursday in Hawaii. His longtime partner Stan Cadwallader confirmed this news to Indianapolis TV station WTHR.

In addition to his role as Gomer Pyle, he was renowned for his rich baritone voice. Hailing from Sylacauga, Alabama, he was discovered while performing at The Horn tavern in Santa Monica.

His fame increased, leading to the creation of Gomer Pyle, U.S. Marines (Gomer Pyle: U.S. Marine Corps), where he struggled his way into service and often clashed with drill sergeant Frank Sutton.

Nabors became a regular guest on variety shows and recorded several albums and singles during that time. His deep baritone was an unexpected contrast to his homely humor, sometimes singing opera. For most of his career, he was a staple of Las Vegas showplaces; he’s best remembered for singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the annual Indianapolis 500.

Justin Carter

An iconic country music star named Justin Carter passed away suddenly at 35 years old, shocking the industry. He had recently released his new single, Love Affair, which captured the hearts of millions around the world.

His mother told Fox News that he was filming a music video when he accidentally shot himself in the head. His 10-state tour had just started and it’s believed that he planned to hit some major festivals during that time.

Mark Atherton from Triple Threat Management revealed that Carter had signed a new contract just days before the shooting. The company plans to release all of his music and the proceeds will be donated to Carter’s family.

The Texas-raised singer was an admirer of classic country artists like Clay Walker, Garth Brooks and George Strait. He declared himself to be a “full-time musician, dedicated to his craft.”

Maxine Brown Russell

On Monday, January 21st Maxine Brown Russell – one-third of Country Music Hall of Fame trio The Browns – passed away peacefully at Bowman Hospice in Little Rock, Arkansas with her family by her side. According to a publicist, Maxine was 87 years old at the time of her passing.

On April 27, 1931, the singer-songwriter was born in Campti, Louisiana. She sang with her older brother Jim Ed and younger sister Bonnie at school and church events throughout southwestern Arkansas as well as on local radio stations.

Jim Ed joined his sister Maxine in 1954 after failing to win a talent contest on KLRA’s “Barnyard Frolic.” They went on to perform regularly at Shreveport’s influential Louisiana Hayride festival and recorded their first hit song, “Looking Back to See.”

They toured the globe and achieved international success with hits like “The Three Bells” and “Scarlet Ribbons.” In 1963, The Browns were named best female vocal group by Country Music Association; they earned a Grammy nomination in 1964 for their album Grand Ole Opry Favorites as well. However, family responsibilities eventually prevailed over their professional ambitions, leading to disbandment in 1967.

John Shaver

John Shaver, one of the greatest country music songwriters in history, passed away Wednesday at age 81. He wrote songs for notable artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, as well as being a pioneer of outlaw country in the 1970s.

He hitchhiked his way to Nashville and was encouraged by Bobby Bare to write for RCA Records. His debut album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, was released in 1973.

Shaver was an accomplished lyricist and singer whose writing was deeply inspired by his own experiences of wanderlust and nomadism. Born in Corsicana, Texas, Shaver spent his early childhood growing up near the Grand Ole Opry.

Shaver married three times, with the third marriage to Brenda Tindell giving birth to their son Eddy in 1962. Despite a string of difficulties including an overdose in 2000, he continued writing and touring throughout his career. His albums were released on Monument, Capricorn, Columbia and New West Records; he also composed songs for other artists including his son Eddy who contributed several lyrics.