The music industry is mourning the deaths of US country music stars Don Williams and Troy Gentry, who have both died on the same day.
Don Williams, an award-winning country singer with love ballads like I Believe in You, has died. He was 78.
A statement from his publicist Kirt Webster said he died Friday after a short illness.
Williams, nicknamed "the Gentle Giant," had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. His hits included I Believe in You, Lord I Hope This Day Is Good, You're My Best Friend, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, Till the Rivers All Run Dry and Back in My Younger Days.
"Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days," said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in a statement Friday.
"His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant."
The news of Williams' death comes as Troy Gentry died in a helicopter crash.
Gentry, 50, was killed hours before the band was set to hit the stage - a second home for the singer and guitarist from Kentucky.
The helicopter carrying Gentry crashed in a wooded area near the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey, around 1pm local time Friday. Montgomery Gentry was supposed to perform Friday in Medford.
Gentry was born on April 5, 1967 in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery, known for his signature hat. Later, they formed a group based off their last names.
Montgomery Gentry had success on the country charts and country radio in the 2000s, scoring No. 1 hits with Roll With Me, Back When I Knew It All, Lucky Man, Something to Be Proud Of and If You Ever Stop Loving Me. Some of the songs even cracked the Top 40 of the pop charts.
"Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time," a statement read.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is reproduced here with permission.