Remembering Joe Bonsall: Country Stars Pay Tribute to a Legend

Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins, Terri Clark and more took time to remember the late Oak Ridges Boys member with touching tributes.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 9, 2024


5:03 pm

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Joe Bonsall; Photo by Daniel Tommasino

On Tuesday, July 9, the country music community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Joe Bonsall, a longtime member of The Oak Ridge Boys

Bonsall, 76, passed away due to complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He retired from touring earlier this year to focus on his health, and sadly he succumbed to the disease. 

As a beloved member of The Oak Ridge Boys, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Bonsall’s death shook the country music community. 

Joe Bonsall; Photo by Jon Mir
Joe Bonsall; Photo by Jon Mir

Many took to social media to share their condolences and express their sadness surrounding his passing. Artists such as Blake Shelton, Travis Tritt, Terri Clark, and more remembered Bonsall as an incredible singer and entertainer, but also as a kind and genuine person with a big heart and a big smile. 

Bonsall will be greatly missed. Scroll down to see how country stars are remembering the late Joe Bonsall.  

“I’m heartbroken to hear of my friend Joe Bonsall’s passing. I’ve NEVER seen Joe when he wasn’t smiling and completely full of life. He absolutely loved singing like no one I ever met. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his @oakridgeboys brothers. We all lost a special person today.” Blake Shelton 

“Joe Bonsall was one of the kindest people I ever met. He was a rock star, and he was a wonderful human being. RIP Joe.” – Trace Adkins 

“We lost the great Joe Bonsall of the @oakridgeboys and country music is crying today. Joe was a real friend, and someone I looked up to not only as an artist, but as a man. He’s left a legacy of incredible music, and endless accounts of his kind heartedness.” – John Rich 

“Heartbreaking to hear of the passing of our friend @joebonsall today.  We will all sure miss his big smile and contagious joy.  That amazing voice and spirit he shared with the world will now be front and center of a heavenly choir.  Prayers go out to his family and @oakridgeboys brothers.” – Big Kenny 

My heart is heavy this morning after hearing that my friend @oakridgeboys tenor @joebonsall has passed away at the age of 76. Joe had amazing talent and a wonderful personality and he will be missed terribly by everyone who knew him. Joe is with our Lord Jesus now and that brings me some comfort. My heartfelt condolences go out to Joe’s wife, Mary Ann, his children and all his extended family. RIP” – Travis Tritt 

“OMG!!!! I can’t believe we lost one of the greats as a singer entertainer and a person, Joe Bonsall !! Man growing up listening to the oaks!! Love all them guys the lord needs him in choir !!!! Brother go rest easy!!!!” – Eddie Montgomery 

“He was amazing talent ….friend ….and legend. The world of country music lost a great talent ….but the angels in heaven gained an incredible voice.” – Billy Ray Cyrus 

“The world has lost a familiar and beloved voice. Heaven welcomes another tenor to the Choir. See you there, Joe.” – Dennis Quaid 

Dennis Quaid with The Oak Ridge Boys; Photo Provided
Dennis Quaid with The Oak Ridge Boys; Photo Provided

“So saddened by the news of the passing of Joe Bonsall …he was such gentleman and truly one of the kindest and most hard working men in music.  His heart and energy will be dearly missed. Sending love and prayers to friends and family” – Terri Clark  

“I’m saddened by the loss of my friend of close to 50 years, Joe Bonsall. For so many years he was the high voice with The Oak Ridge Boys who I toured with almost every year of my career. Joe and I would have conversations on the road sometimes before a concert and sometimes afterwards about the crowd, the music and who we are as Americans. My family sends prayers to the Bonsall Family and The Oak Ridge Boys.  We will miss you, Joe!” – Lee Greenwood 

“Along with the rest of the world I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of the multi-talented Joe Bonsall. Joe was a great singer, the consummate performer, and a dear friend. We not only had country music in common, but he loved baseball just as much as I do, and we had many friendly discussions as to which was the better team…his Philadelphia Phillies or my Atlanta Braves. I won’t say any money ever changed hands, but I won’t deny it either. I will think of Joe and miss him with every high note I hear sung and every crack of the bat that echoes across the summer skies. Rest in peace, my friend. You were truly one-of-a-kind.” – Bill Anderson

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The ALS Association or to the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.