Life is definitely unpredictable and we never know what’s ahead of us. Not even the famous and richest country music stars are exempted from life’s highs and lows especially with tragedies that can really challenge us. Some have coped while some gave up like any other ordinary person probably would depending on how they took it and how they have made that conscious decision to move forward and on. Here are some of the tragedies that shook the stars and the world’s hearts and minds.
10. George Strait
Did you know that the King of Country’s song “You’ll Be There” was inspired by his daughter? Yes, in fact, it’s for his only daughter whom he believes he’ll see again in heaven someday. George and Norma Strait lost Jenifer in 1986. She was just 13 when she met a car accident that cost her life in San Marcos, Texas.
9. Luke Bryan
Losing one sibling is something unimaginable for me, but two? I probably couldn’t take that. Luke lost his older brother, Chris, in a car accident before his rise to fame. Then again right after his Grand Ole Opry debut, her sister, Kelly, died from unknown reasons. In 2014, he lost his brother-in-law, Ben Lee Ceshire, husband of Kelly. Luke and Caroline Boyer took in his nephew, Tilden. Who knew that behind that positive facade and handsome face is a man who’s lost a lot?
8. Craig Morgan
Country Singer Craig Morgan lost his son on July 2016. You can check out country music news for information on the story of his son, Jerry Greer.
7. Reba McEntire
Imagine losing not one but eight close friends. What a heartbreak! That’s what Reba had to go through after losing her band and tour crew members in a plane crash after a show. It was attributed to poor visibility. To honor them, McEntire dedicated her sixteenth album, For My Broken Heart. It’s one way to deal with a tragedy but I think that mending those wounds will take a lifetime.
6. Eddie Rabbit
The happiest time in a parent’s life is having a little bundle of joy. But, what if that blessing was born with a disease? Eddie Rabbit’s second child, Timmy, had a liver disease called biliary atresia. The boy spent two years in a Nashville hospital before going through a liver transplant. However, his body rejected the liver and died soon after.
5. Ricky Skaggs
It was 1986 when Ricky’s 7-year-old son, Andrew, was shot in the face by a truck driver. He was with his mother when they were cut-off by a tractor-trailer. Naturally, anyone would honk a horn at this kind of behavior. Unknowingly, the driver was armed with a gun and shot at the vehicle. The bullet went straight to Andrew’s face. Thank God, he survived though severely wounded. Several reconstructive surgeries had to be done after.
4. Craig Strickland
Love hunting? Craig did so he and his friend, Chase Morland, went on a duck hunting trip in 2016. However, none of them were able to return back home. They were reported missing thus, the search began. It lasted for a week until their bodies were found. Reports said that their boat capsized in a winter storm and died of hypothermia. Creepy as it may seem, Morland tweeted: “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma,” before they headed out for the trip.
3. Willie Nelson
Everyone is probably aware of how rough the 90’s were to Willie. It was a decade battle of financial troubles with the IRS. He owed them an estimate of $32 million. But what could be more troubling than losing a son on Christmas Day? His son, Billy, was found dead after committing suicide and hanging himself. It could be possible that his son was unable to take the challenge when their stuff were repossessed by the IRS to settle his debts. Willie, may seem to cope through his music but I’m sure this left a deep scar in him.
2. Loretta Lynn
Loretta had her continued success in the country music industry from the 1980’s onward. Being in a rocky marriage (as most of her songs go), raising six children and being a cross over star to a legend. Did she have enough time to rest?
In 1984, her son, Jack Benny, headed out for a horse ride in Duck Lake near Hurricane Mills. However, he never returned. He died crossing the rough waters. At the same time, Loretta was found unconscious so she was brought to the hospital. News about her lost son was hidden from her until she recovered.
1. Joey Feek
We all know how sad Joey’s story is when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 which she strongly fought for two years. In 2015, she was also battling Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. After everything were done by doctors, she decided to discontinue her treatments and just enjoy her final days with her daughter Indiana, husband Joey and step-children Heidi and Hopie. In 2016, Joey died at 40.