SUMMIT, Kentucky – Troy Gentry, half of the popular contemporary country duo Montgomery Gentry, was killed in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey, the band confirmed on its website. He was 50.
Gentry, a guitarist and vocalist who was a native of Kentucky, died early Friday afternoon.
He and vocalist Eddie Montgomery had been scheduled to perform at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford on Friday night.
Another major figure in American country music, Don Williams, also died on Friday, passing away at the age of 78 after a brief bout with emphysema, his publicist said.
Montgomery Gentry, which was formed in Summit, Kentucky, was named Duo of the Year in 2000 by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
The duo were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009.
Williams, known for the hit songs “Gypsy Woman” and “Tulsa Time,” was also a Grand Ole Opry inductee, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
He was born in Floydada, Texas, in 1939 and died in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday.
Other country music stars, including Sheryl Crow, took to Twitter to lament the deaths of Gentry and Williams.
“So sad to hear the news of Troy Gentry. My prayers are with his family and friends,” she wrote, adding that “I miss Don Williams already.”
The Grand Ole Opry, a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, said on Twitter of Don Williams that “it was an honor to witness your greatness on our stage. Your music will continue to inspire all of us. Rest easy Gentle Giant.”
It said of Gentry that he would be “forever a part of our #Opry Family.”
“Troy Gentry, thank you for the memories and the music. Our stage will never be the same.”