Country music fans were slammed with a double whammy Friday with news that Troy Gentry has died in a helicopter crash and Hall of Famer Don Williams had passed at 78.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00pm today in Medford, New Jersey,” the band said on Twitter.
Gentry was 50.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration told the Courier-Post a Schweitzer 269 “crashed in a wooded area off the end of runway 1,” and that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board would soon begin an investigation into the incident, said USA Today.
Rolling Stone recalled Williams’ hits “Tulsa Time” and “It Must Be Love.”
“In giving voice to songs like ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me,’ ‘Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good’ and ‘Amanda,’ Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days,” said Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young.
“His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.”
Many mourned for both.
Sad day in country music:
– Don Williams dies at 78
– Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry dies in helicopter crash at 50 pic.twitter.com/leqXwG9nlb
— Troy Hughes™ (@TommySledge) September 8, 2017
Sad day for country music. Troy Gentry and Don Williams have passed and that makes my heart hurt. Don was my hero and Troy was my friend
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) September 8, 2017
Just heard the news about Don Williams and Troy Gentry. Country music lost a hero and a friend today. My heart goes out to all.
— Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) September 8, 2017
The world changed today. Country music lost both a Friend and a Hero. Troy Gentry and Don Williams, you both will be dearly missed..
— Lee Brice (@leebrice) September 8, 2017
Sad about Don Williams but Troy Gentry was my friend. I had great times with him. I’m stunned, angry and upset at the moment. I’ll miss you.
— Shooter Jennings (@ShooterJennings) September 8, 2017
What an awful day for country music. Rest in peace, Tory Gentry and Don Williams. Thank you for the wonderful music you’ve given us
— Robert J. Moore (@RJMoore03) September 8, 2017
A sorrowful day for country music with the passing of both Don Williams and Troy Gentry. Our condolences to family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/kLnTcwLhMW
— PRCA ProRodeo (@ThePRCA) September 8, 2017
Both Don Williams and Troy Gentry, I can’t handle today! ????
— Christine Elise (@christineeliise) September 8, 2017