In the weeks since Troy Gentry’s September 8th death in a helicopter accident, tributes have poured in to the singer from his peers in the country music community, including a star-studded celebration of his life at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Keeping silent so far has been Gentry’s longtime singing partner Eddie Montgomery, who issued his first public statement on his late friend with their duo Montgomery Gentry’s latest song, “Better Me.”
“I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers. Our world was turned upside down in an instant and nothing could have prepared us for this,” reads Montgomery’s statement, issued to radio stations on Monday. “Over the past few months T-Roy and I have been working on what I think is the best record of our career. In the last few weeks we had been talking about what our first single would be. Then on September 8th, none of that mattered.”
Gentry, who was 50 years old, was en route to a performance in Medford, New Jersey when the helicopter he was riding crashed. “Better Me,” one of the songs from the album that Montgomery Gentry had been recording, was played during Gentry’s memorial at the Opry on September 14th. “‘Better Me’ is a song we all loved and Troy sings his ass off on it,” Montgomery says. “It speaks volumes about his life and who he had become and everyone he touched and how much he loved his family. I am so proud of this song and also to call him my friend, my family, my brother for 30 years.”
Montgomery and Gentry, both natives of Kentucky, had first played together in Early Tymz, which they started in 1990, before going on to form Montgomery Gentry, where they earned five Number One singles and won the CMA award for Vocal Duo of the Year in 2000. Plans for the release of their last album together, originally slated for sometime in 2018, remain unknown at this time.