Troy Gentry, one half of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey on Friday, September 8th, where he was scheduled to perform that evening. With his performing partner Eddie Montgomery, Gentry enjoyed a series of country hits throughout the 2000s, including five Number Ones. He was 50 years old.
The duo’s team shared the news earlier on Twitter, saying that no further details about the crash were known at this time. “[The] family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time,” they wrote.
— Montgomery Gentry (@mgunderground) September 8, 2017
Born April 5th, 1967 in Lexington, Kentucky, Gentry and his eventual singing partner Eddie Montgomery formed the band Early Tymz with Eddie’s brother John Michael Montgomery, who’d go on to solo success as a country singer. Gentry tried his hand at a solo career, but eventually reunited with Montgomery to become Montgomery Gentry.
The duo signed with Columbia Records’ Nashville division, releasing their first single “Hillbilly Shoes” and the Top 5 follow-up “Lonely and Gone” – both from the album Tattoos & Scars – in 1999. The next year they were named the ACM’s Duo of the Year, and were nominated several times in the years that followed. Their next album, 2001’s Carrying On, produced the Number Two hit “She Couldn’t Change Me.” Montgomery Gentry really hit their stride in 2002, releasing a pair of Top 5 hits in “My Town” and “Speed” that combined the electrified edge of Southern rock with popular country themes of small town life, family and embracing the good times.
The duo scored their first Number One with the outlaw’s love story “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” from 2004’s You Do Your Thing. They followed that with subsequent chart-toppers “Something to Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me,” the last of which came in 2008. In 2009, they were invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Early in the 2010s, Montgomery Gentry departed Columbia Nashville and signed with independent Average Joes, releasing the album Rebels on the Run and earning a Top 10 hit with “Where I Come From.” Their most recent release came in 2015 with the album Folks Like Us, which produced two singles: the title track, and “Headlights.”
Gentry is survived by his wife Angie and two daughters. Funeral arrangements are not yet known.