Remembering the Country Music Stars Who Died Too Soon

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here we remember some of the great country music stars who died before their time.


In recent years, the country music world has suffered the untimely losses of some of its brightest stars. Here, we remember the artists who left us too soon and left an indelible mark on country music.

Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry, one half of the successful country duo Montgomery Gentry, died on September 8, 2017 in a helicopter crash. He was 50 years old.

Gentry first found success as a solo artist in the early 1990s, with his debut album “Troy Gentry” charting at #3 on the country albums chart. He achieved greater fame as part of Montgomery Gentry, which he formed with Eddie Montgomery in 1999. The duo’s first album, “Tattoos & Scars,” was a huge success, selling more than 2 million copies and producing four #1 singles. Their second album, “Carryin’ On,” was even more successful, debuting at #1 on the country charts and going platinum.

The duo continued to find success throughout the 2000s and 2010s with hit singles like “Something to Be Proud Of,” “Back When I Knew It All,” and “Lucky Man.” They were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009 and won the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 2010.

Gentry is survived by his wife Angie and their two children.

Keith Whitley

Keith Whitley was an American country music singer. During his short career, Whitley charted 19 singles on the Billboard country charts, including 11 number one hits. He died at the age of 33 from alcohol poisoning.

Hank Williams, Jr.

On October 1, 2020, Hank Williams Jr. died at the age of 64. Williams was best known for his country music career, which spanned more than five decades. He was also the son of country music legend Hank Williams.

Williams Jr. got his start in country music when he was just eight years old, singing on his father’s radio show. He released his first album, Hank Williams Jr. and Friends, in 1964. Over the course of his career, he released more than 40 albums and had more than 20 No. 1 hit singles.

In addition to his own success, Williams Jr. is also known for popularizing the “bocephus” nickname for country music star Luke Bryan. He also collaborated with many other artists, including his daughter Hilary Williams, Kid Rock, and Eric Church.

Williams Jr.’s death came as a shock to the country music community. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons.

Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready, the troubled country singer who arrived on the Nashville scene in the mid-1990s with a string of hits, died Sunday afternoon of an apparent suicide. She was 37.

McCready’s body was found on the property of her home in Heber Springs, Ark., according to Cleburne County Sheriff Joe Sulkowski. No foul play is suspected, and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday to confirm the cause and manner of death, he said.

McCready’s death comes less than a month after that of her boyfriend, David Wilson, with whom she had two young sons. Wilson, 34, died Jan. 13 at McCready’s home of a gunshot wound to the head. His death also was ruled a suicide.


In conclusion, there are many country music stars who died too soon. They left us with their music, but also with a lasting impression of their talent and character. We hope that you have enjoyed this look back at some of the great country music stars who died too soon.

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