Country star Troy Gentry, one-half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, died tragically in a helicopter crash in New Jersey on Sept. 7. At the age of 50, Gentry was a vital man in the prime of his life, lost too soon. He had taken a spur of the moment helicopter ride that ended in tragedy for himself, his family and fans, and for the young helicopter pilot who died instantly.
Gentry's fans will want to pay their respect to the fun-loving artist, so the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., is hosting a public memorial on Sept. 14, starting at 11 a.m. CT. The memorial will be live-streamed, so fans will be able to watch from around the world.
Gentry died within hours of country legend Don Williams, who died on the same day. The Grand Ole Opry paid tribute to both stars at the beginning of their show on Sept. 8. Ricky Skaggs opened the show and spoke to the crowd, stating, “Here at the Opry, we’re saddened in country music and in Nashville with the passing of Don Williams and Troy Gentry. We loved both of those people very much and they will be missed,” according to WSMV. “Their contribution to our music will live on forever.”
As duo Montgomery Gentry, Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry inducted into the venerable Grand Ole Opry in 2009, an achievement of which Gentry was extremely proud.
The duo, whose trademark sound combined Southern Rock and Country, produced several Number One hits, including “Lucky Man,” If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” Roll With Me,” “Something to Be Proud Of,” and “Back When I Knew It All.”
The country act planned to release a new album in 2018 to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a duo.
Gentry is survived by his wife, Angie Gentry, and his two daughters, Taylor and Kaylee.
The country star was a faithful follower of Christ and attended Brentwood Baptist Church when he was not touring, according to the Grand Ole Opry. One of his favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 31:6, says, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Gentry was known for his love of life, his wide smile, and his generosity. He supported numerous charitable organizations, including T.J Martell Foundation, Make A Wish Foundations, and military-related charities such as the USO. He actively supported breast cancer awareness and research. Montgomery Gentry received the Academy of Country Music’s Humanitarian Award in 2009.
A public celebration of life will be held for Troy Gentry at the Grand Old Opry House on Sept 14. The Grand Ole Opry House is at 2804 Opryland Drive in Nashville, TN. A private interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to T.J. Martell Foundation or The American Red Cross for hurricane relief.