The Academy Remembers

Joe Bonsall

Joe Bonsall

Joe Bonsall, the tenor singer in the Oak Ridge Boys and one of Country Music’s most enthusiastic entertainers, passed away from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis on July 9, 2024. He was 76.

Joe Scaife

Joe Scaife

Beloved studio engineer, record producer and music publisher, Joe Scaife, passed away on June 12. He was 68 years old.

Mark James

Mark James

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Mark James, died on June 8, 2024. He was 83 years old.

Erv Woolsey

Erv Woolsey

Erv Woolsey, a former music executive, entrepreneur, and longtime manager for Country Music Hall of Fame member, George Strait, died on March 20, 2024, due to complications from surgery. He was 80.

Fran Boyd

Fran Boyd

Fran Boyd, a former Executive Director of the ACM and an essential player in shaping and growing the organization from its early years in California in the late-1960s through the start of the millennium, passed away on March 9, 2024. She was 84 years old. 

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Toby Keith, a Country Music superstar who wrote many of his biggest hits, passed away on February 5, 2024. He was 62 years old. A 14-time ACM Award recipient, including multiple wins for ACM Top Male Vocalist and ACM Album of the Year, he was named ACM Entertainer of the Year twice, in 2002 and 2003.

Margo Smith

Margo Smith

Singer and songwriter Margo Smith passed away on January 23, 2024. She was 84. 

Don Koch

Don Koch

Music industry veteran, producer, and songwriter Don Koch passed away on January 15, 2024. He was 62. 

Larry Collins

Larry Collins

Larry Collins, California Country songwriter and guitarist, passed away on January 5, 2024. He was 79 years old. 

  

Laura Lynch

Laura Lynch

Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of Country group, The Chicks, passed away on December 22, 2023. She was 65. 

Bill Mayne

Bill Mayne

Bill Mayne, known as a giant of the industry who devoted his nearly 50 year career to Country radio, passed away on November 28, 2023. He was 72 years old.

Abe Stoklasa

Abe Stoklasa

Abe Stoklasa, talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, passed away on November 17, 2023. He was 36. 

Jim Vienneau

Jim Vienneau

Jim Vienneau, celebrated producer and music industry executive, passed away on November 9, 2023. He was 97. 

Bill Rice

Bill Rice

Bill Rice, beloved singer songwriter and member of the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame, passed away on October 28, 2023. He was 84. 

Buck Trent

Buck Trent

Buck Trent, master banjo player and guitarist died October 9, 2023. He was 85 years old. 

Mike Henderson

Mike Henderson

Mike Henderson, cofounder of the SteelDrivers, Country songwriter and multi-instrumentalist died September 22, 2023. He was 70 years old.


Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett, the enduring entertainer who kept audiences singing along to “Margaritaville” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” September 1, 2023. He was 76. 

Robbie Roberston

Robbie Roberston

Robbie Robertson, a Canadian musician and songwriter, and leader of the influential rock group The Band died August 9, 2023. He was 80.

Chuck Flood

Chuck Flood

Chuck Flood, a renowned business manager who played a pivotal role in launching and supporting countless artists’ careers, died on July 21, 2023. He was 78. 

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett, the traditional pop artist and jazz vocalist whose voice epitomized the American Songbook, died on July 21, 2023. He was 96.

Jerry Bradley

Jerry Bradley

Music executive Jerry Bradley, the son of legendary Owen Bradley, died July 17, 2023. He was 83.

Bobby Osborne

Bobby Osborne

Noted Bluegrass musician and co-founder of the Osborne Brothers, Bobby Osborne died June 27, 2023. He was 91.

Jesse McReynolds

Jesse McReynolds

Jesse McReynolds, one half of iconic duo Jim & Jesse and the oldest standing Grand Ole Opry member, passed away on June 23, 2023 at the age of 93.

Cynthia Weil

Cynthia Weil

Renowned songwriter Cynthia Weil passed away on June 1, 2023 at the age of 82.

Les Leverett

Les Leverett

Longtime Grand Ole Opry staff photographer, Les Leverett, died on June 1, 2023 at the age of 96.

George Moffett

George Moffett

George Moffett, one of the entertainment industry’s most respected and beloved talent buyers, whose career spanned 55 years, passed away on May 14, 2023. He was 86.

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot

Canadian folk singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot died on May 1, 2023 at the age of 84.

Claude Gray

Claude Gray

Claude Gray, known as “The Tall Texan” and the “Family Bible” singer, died April 28, 2023. He was 91.

Barbara Ellen Clarkson

Barbara Ellen Clarkson

Barbara Ellen (Leuallen) Clarkson, 83, formerly of Nashville, TN and more recently of Stuarts Draft passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

Keith Gattis

Keith Gattis

Keith Gattis, a beloved singer, songwriter and producer passed away on April 23, 2023. He was 52 years old.

Ray Pillow

Ray Pillow

Ray Pillow, a longtime Grand Ole Opry member, died on March 26, 2023. He was 85.

Bob

Bob "Norton" Thompson

Bob “Norton” Thompson, the entrepreneur who opened the Nashville rehearsal studio Soundcheck died on March 24, 2023. He was 80.

Liz Thiels

Liz Thiels

Liz Thiels, a pioneering public relations executive who represented the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as numerous Country artists in the 1980s and 1990s, died on March 19, 2023. She was 78.

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes, a first-call studio musician who won 10 ACM Awards as a bassist, died on March 4, 2023. He was 69.

Kyle Jacobs

Kyle Jacobs

Kyle Jacobs, a talented Nashville songwriter and producer and the husband of Kellie Pickler passed away on February 17, 2023.

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach, a legendary pop songwriter who also composed two chart-topping Country hits, died on February 8, 2023. He was 94.

Pat Bunch

Pat Bunch

Pat Bunch, who co-wrote No. 1 hits for Ty Herndon, Faith Hill, and Restless Heart, died on January 30, 2023. She was 83. 

Peter McCann

Peter McCann

Peter McCann, an advocate and songwriter best remembered for “Right Time of the Night,” died on January 26, 2023. He was 74.

David Crosby

David Crosby

David Crosby, whose love of harmony and talent for songwriting helped usher in the folk-rock sound, died on January 18, 2023. He was 81.

Bruce Gowers

Bruce Gowers

Bruce Gowers, an award-winning director who worked with superstar artists in pop, rock, and Country Music, died on January 15, 2023. He was 82.

Stan Hitchcock

Stan Hitchcock

Stan Hitchcock, a television executive who guided the early years of CMT while balancing a career as a host and recording artist, died on January 4, 2023. He was 86.

Anita Pointer

Anita Pointer

Anita Pointer, a pop star who twice crossed over to country music, died on December 31, 2022. She was 74.

Stephen Allen Davis

Stephen Allen Davis

Stephen Allen Davis, whose extensive songwriting credits include Jo Dee Messina’s “Stand Beside Me,” died on December 26, 2022. He was 73.

Charlie Monk

Charlie Monk

Charlie Monk, fondly known as the Mayor of MusicRow, died on December 19, 2022. He was 84.

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper, one of Nashville’s most admired music journalists and historians, died on December 6, 2022. He was 52.

Jeff Cook

Jeff Cook

Jeff Cook, a founding member of the groundbreaking country band Alabama, died on November 7, 2022. He was 73.

Jerry Whitehurst

Jerry Whitehurst

Jerry Whitehurst, the ACM Award-winning musical director of TNN’s Nashville Now, died on October 30, 2022. He was 84.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis

The legendary Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935, in Louisiana and would grow up to be a pioneer of rock and roll music. 

Anita Kerr

Anita Kerr

Anita Kerr, the vocal and instrumental arranger whose musical touch became a cornerstone of the Nashville Sound, died on October 10, 2022. She was 94.

Jody Miller

Jody Miller

Jody Miller, one of the most versatile singers of her era, died on October 6, 2022. She was 80.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Known best as the undisputed Queen of Country Music via number one songs such as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home a ‘Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind),” Loretta Lynn has been Country Music’s ultimate storyteller for over fifty years.

Joe Chambers

Joe Chambers

Joe Chambers, founder of the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, died on September 28, 2022. He was 68.

Ray Edenton

Ray Edenton

Ray Edenton, a rhythm guitarist who played on more than 10,000 recording sessions, died on September 21, 2022. He was 95.

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John, an internationally recognized entertainer who charted 15 Country singles in the 1970s, died on August 8, 2022. She was 73.

Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy, the media executive who expanded the reach of Great American Country (GAC) as its president, died on July 31, 2022. He was 73.

Bil Vorndick

Bil Vorndick

Bil VornDick, a producer and champion for Americana, bluegrass and folk artists, died on July 5, 2022. He was 72.

Eddie Edwards Drennan

Eddie Edwards Drennan

Eddie Edwards, a 1985 ACM Award recipient for DiscJockey of the Year, died on June 19, 2022. He was 75.

Al Cooley

Al Cooley

Al Cooley, a multifaceted music industry figure whose career spanned across decades, died on June 9, 2022. He was 76.

Glenn Meadows

Glenn Meadows

Glenn Meadows, one of Nashville’s most prolific recording engineers, died on July 7, 2022. He was 73.

Hal Bynum

Hal Bynum

Hal Bynum, who co-wrote Kenny Rogers’ classic hit “Lucille,” died on June 2, 2022. He was 87.

Mickey Gilley

Mickey Gilley

Mickey Gilley, acclaimed singer/songwriter died on May 7, 2022. He was 86.

Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd, a former nurse whose talent and tenacity carried her to legendary status in Country Music, died on April 30, 2022. She was 76.

Thom Bresh

Thom Bresh

Thom Bresh, a celebrated guitarist and enduring entertainer, died on May 23, 2022. He was 74.

Bill Walker

Bill Walker

Bill Walker, known for his graceful touch as a composer and arranger, died on May 26, 2022. He was 85.

Don Howard

Don Howard

Don Howard, a former ACM Board Member who launched his music industry career in Hollywood, died on April 16, 2022. He was 83.

Francis La Maina

Francis La Maina

Francis La Maina, the former COO of Dick Clark Productions, died on April 8, 2022. He was 82.

C.W. McCall

C.W. McCall

C.W. McCall, credited with co-writing and recording the 1976 truck-driving classic “Convoy,” died on April 1, 2022. He was 93.

Jeff Carson

Jeff Carson

Jeff Carson, a ‘90s Country star who won an ACM Award for his music video of “The Car” died on March 26, 2022. He was 58.

Mary Jane Thomas

Mary Jane Thomas

Mary Jane Thomas, the wife of Hank Williams Jr., died on March 22, 2022. She was 58.

Bruce Burch

Bruce Burch

Bruce Burch, a songwriter whose credits include Reba McEntire’s “Rumor Has It” and “It’s Your Call,” died on March 12, 2022. He was 69.

Bobbie Nelson

Bobbie Nelson

Bobbie Nelson, pianist, singer, edler sister of Willie Nelson and member of his band, Willie Nelson and Family, died on March 10, 2022. She was 91.

Carolyn Tate

Carolyn Tate

Carolyn Tate, a key staff member at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for more than 25 years, died on March 3, 2022. She was 64.