The Country Music world and NRA Country is mourning the passing of Country Music artist and outdoor enthusiast Troy Gentry, who perished in a helicopter accident in New Jersey on Friday, September 8, 2017 at the age of 50.
Along with Eddie Montgomery, the Kentucky native became a favorite of many Country fans across the world as half of the award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry. The 2000 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year winner, the gentlemen racked up hit after hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart, beginning with their 1999 debut “Hillbilly Shoes.” The duo also received recognition from the Academy of Country Music and the American Music Awards, and were nominees at the Grammy Awards during their career. The duo tallied their first of five No. 1 singles with “If You Ever Stop Loving Me," a chart triumph from the summer of 2004. Among their biggest hits were “She Couldn't Change Me,” “Back When I Knew It All,” and the 2008 anthem “Some People Change,” which made the honky-tonk act an unlikely fan in renowned poet Maya Angelou, who was struck by the song's message of personal evolution in one's beliefs and thought process. Montgomery Gentry left Columbia after a decade-long association, and moved on to deals with labels such as Blaster and Average Joe’s Entertainment, where they released their most recent album, Folks Like Us, in June of 2015. That same year, the duo—both natives of the “Bluegrass State"—were inducted as members of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
The singer first teamed with Montgomery in a group called Early Tymz—which also featured Eddie's brother John Michael. Later, after he left for a solo career, Troy and Eddie combined their talents, eventually being signed by Columbia in 1998. Their first album, Tattoos and Scars, sold a million units. They would go on to tally an additional two Gold and two Platinum albums during their storied career. In 2009, their decade of success earned them an invitation to join a very exclusive club in the Grand Ole Opry by one of their musical heroes—and occasional collaborators—Charlie Daniels. The duo last played there earlier this summer, on July 1. In a quote from their website, MontgomeryGentry.com, Gentry said that giving their fans something that they could relate to was important to him. “We’ve always been about cutting songs that everybody can identify with and at any given moment go, ‘Hey, that’s me and they get where I’m at right now,’ and maybe get some kind of peace or something that they can grab onto and go, ‘That’s cool that they know exactly what I’m going through’ or ‘Man, they like to party and have a great time on the weekend, just like me.’”
Montgomery Gentry had just put the final touches on a new album for Average Joe's Entertainment, which is slated for release in 2018. Ironically, his passing comes just less than a month after the passing of his father, Lloyd, who died on August 13. He is survived by wife, Angie, their daughter, Kaylee, as well as Taylor, his daughter from a previous marriage. As Montgomery Gentry is a previous “Artist of the Month” for NRA Country, we send out our prayers and sympathy to Troy's family—as well as the entire Montgomery Gentry team.