Eddie Montgomery Remembers Troy Gentry On The Anniversary Of His Death

Gentry passed away on this day in 2017.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

September 8, 2022


4:40 pm

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Montgomery Gentry; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Eddie Montgomery took to social media to share a few kind words as he honored Troy Gentry, the other half of Montgomery Gentry, five years after his death. 

“Just want to say brother T missing u!!!!! Hell we all do that beautiful smile and that livin life attitude that u have, that u have spread around the world !!!! We’re keepin it goin my brother!!! LOVE YA!!! PS… bet u got them laughing and singin in heaven!!!,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Montgomery Gentry formed in 1999 and went on to release eight studio albums, three of which have been certified platinum, and earn a total of five No. 1 singles. 

The year 2000 was the start of something big for the duo. They received recognition for their work and won the title of ACM Top New Vocal Duo or Group and CMA Vocal Duo of the Year. Then in 2009, they were invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. 

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Several of their biggest hits from the course of their entire career includes their debut, “Hillbilly Shoes,” “Something To Be Proud Of,” “Lucky” and “My Town.” 

For two decades, Montgomery Gentry celebrated success and suffered hardship, but they had each other and their music to get them through it all. Fans knew that when this duo took the stage, they would bring their humor and charisma right along with them. 

Their high moments started to fade when Montgomery announced that he was battling prostate cancer in 2010. Fortunately, with the support of his family and duo partner, he ended up making a full recovery. Gentry also saw his wife battle breast cancer until she was declared cancer-free in 2015. That same year, they released their final studio album, “Folks Like Us.”

On September 8, 2017, Gentry passed away suddenly at 50 years old. His death was the result of a devastating plane crash in Medford, New Jersey due to pilot error. With plans to perform at a resort later that night, Montgomery was waiting at the airport when the crash occurred. 

Troy Gentry; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Troy Gentry; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time,” a post on Montgomery Gentry’s website read that fateful afternoon. 

According to the two-page report, just several minutes after taking off, the pilot reported he did not have control over the engine. 

“The pilot’s early entry into and failure to maintain rotor rpm during a forced landing autorotation after performing an engine shutdown in flight, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent,” the report read. “Contributing to the accident was the failure of maintenance personnel to properly rig the throttle control tie-rod assembly.”

“Initial reports were the helicopter was going to attempt to crash land,” police said in a statement after the accident. “Emergency crews arrived at the airport and shortly thereafter, the helicopter suddenly crashed in a field just south of the airport runway.”

Following the news of his death, Montgomery made the decision to carry on with the music to keep his friend and bandmate’s memory alive. In 2021, he announced his solo album, Ain’t No Closing Me Down, which he released separately from Montgomery Gentry. 

Members of the Nashville community rallied together to celebrate Gentry’s life at a public memorial service at the Grand Ole Opry on September 14, 2017.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.