Country music icon Don Williams has passed away following a short illness. He was 78.
A popular performer and gifted songwriter, Williams was nicknamed country music’s “Gentle Giant,” and enjoyed a successful career that spanned six decades.
Born in Floydada, Texas, Williams headed to Nashville in the late 1960s and began his career as a songwriter, but soon found popularity as a performer, ultimately landing 17 #1 hits on the country charts.
During the 1970s, Williams was one of the first country artists to cross over into the pop music mainstream, becoming one of the biggest country artists in the world thanks to such hits as “Tulsa Time”, which also became a top-30 hit for Eric Clapton.
Williams’ final performance was in 2016, after which he retired, declaring at the time that it was “time to hang up my hat and enjoy some quiet time at home,” adding:
“I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”
News of Williams’ death was greeted with social media tributes from such famous fans as Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt, Ricky Scaggs and more.
Troy Gentry killed in helicopter crash
Troy Gentry — one half of the country music group Montgomery Gentry — was killed in a helicopter crash in New Jersey on Friday. He was 50 years old.
The helicopter crashed in a field in Medford around 1 PM ET. Unclear if Eddie Montgomery was on board. We’re working on it.
Troy Gentry is survived by his wife and 2 kids.
Montgomery Gentry’s biggest hit is “Something to Be Proud Of” — which topped the country music charts in 2005. They also had hits with “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” and “My Town.”
The group was on tour, and they were scheduled to perform a concert Friday night at Flying W Airport and Resort.
It’s unclear what caused the crash. Investigators are on the scene. The news was reported on the duo’s Twitter account.