Here are 10 country stars from past and present who survived some incredibly close calls.
There are a few givens, from serious freak accidents, car crashes, life-threatening illnesses and attacks, but we’ve narrowed our list down to the top ten artists that cheated death.
10. George Jones
George Jones cheated death on numerous occasions, but one more notable accident occurred in 1999. The late singer was known to kick back a few drinks regularly, and he drove into a bridge while talking on a cell phone. Police said the crash was not alcohol-related, but Jones suffered a deep cut to his liver as well as a punctured lung. Vanderbilt University Medical Center didn’t want to let him go, but the singer proved to be resilient and checked himself out less than two weeks after the crash.
9. Randy Travis
Possibly the oldest living country music star left, Randy Travis has had some near misses in his life as well. In the fall of 2013, the country singer was sick from an illness and ended up in the hospital, with his finance Mary Beougher caring for him. She had insisted on getting the doctors to transfer her soon-to-be husband to a hospital in Texas, while they were stringent on keeping him in Nashville under close watch. Because of the move, he had to be rushed to the ER in Texas and days later, he suffered a stroke, requiring emergency brain surgery to release swelling on the brain. Thankfully, he was able to make it through his issues and quit drinking, which was the blame for many of his health problems.
8. Brantley Gilbert
He might be the baddest boy on our list, so it’s by no surprise that Brantley Gilbert has seen his fair share of unruly life craziness. When the singer was 19, after a night of drinking he got behind the wheel of his truck and headed home to Jefferson, Georgia. Shortly after his trip began, he went off the road and hit a patch of tall grass, causing his card to flip into the air and tumble several times until striking an oak tree. The impact caused Gilbert to be ejected out the back window, and somehow landed on his feet before falling to the ground. The accident led to a song which the star titled his album after, Halfway To Heaven. In fact, the accident is what led the man to music in the first place.
7. Luke Bryan
A relatively recent story of close calls comes from superstar Luke Bryan’s life. While it might not be as terrifying as some of the other stories, safe to say Luke Bryan is thankful for his friend who gave him the Heimlich in 2012. In the fall, the singer was out with friends at a pizza restaurant when a piece of flatbread pizza became lodged in his airway. Bryan fell to the floor, and his friend quickly rushed to his rescue, giving him the Heimlich and saving his life. Fans might want the singer to avoid flatbread pizza from now on!
6. Jerrod Niemann
Country star Jerrod Niemman likely had one of the closest calls we’ve got on our list. In 2012 while on tour with Lee Brice in Tennessee, Niemann finished his set and went to get on his bus with his tour mates, but Lee Brice mentioned he had smelled something strange coming from the bus so he warned others not to get on the bus. It turns out a heater was left on in the bus, and when Niemann went to turn it off, the bus was on fire and blew the windshield out. Everyone was okay, and Niemann shortly after posted a picture to Instagram of the burned bus.
5. Hank Williams Jr.
The legendary Hank Williams Jr. cheated death way back in 1975. While mountain climbing on Ajax Mountain in Montana, the singer/songwriter fell pretty hard and far down the mountain, busting him up pretty good. Apparently the snow under him gave way, and the man fell face first into a large boulder 500 feet below. Walking away with some large cuts all across his face, plastic surgery took two years to reconstruct the shattered bones in the country legend’s face. Thankfully, he stayed with music during that time and exploded onto the country music scene in 1979 with Family Tradition.
4. Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline was a victim in a head-on collision in a car accident with her brother Sam in 1961 in North Nashville. Cline’s car collided with another, and the impact sent her through the windshield, nearly killing her. That was actually the second close-call accident Cline was involved in. The first sent her to the hospital where she ended up meeting singer Loretta Lynn, and began the start of a beautiful friendship between the two. After seeing Loretta perform one of Patsy’s songs, Patsy demanded her friends bring Loretta to meet her. The accident resulted in a visible scar on her forehead, which led to multiple wigs being worn during her performances from then on.
3. Chris Young
Rising star Chris Young suffered from an odd infection in 2013, which started out as just a simple ingrown hair. After canceling a handful of tour dates, the infection spread and he was admitted to the hospital. The doctors quickly realized he was suffering from septic shock, and required surgery to survive. Young brushes the scare off nonchalantly, but reacted to it by mentioning that he understood quickly how fragile life is. In addition, Young mentioned that it wasn’t anything specific he did or didn’t do, it was just something that happened that remained unchecked until he ended up feeling horrible.
1. Wynonna Judd
While she’s been clear that she’s suffered multiple life-threatening accidents and a serious blood clot a few years ago, one more notable story from the iconic Wynonna Judd comes from 2010. Arriving in Salt Lake City for a show, the country singer, along with her daughter and tour manager were hospitalized after what Judd called a major head-on collision in traffic. The hospital apparently did not want her to leave, and she looked at the doctors and nurses and said “Listen, I’ve got to go do a show.” So for Mrs. Judd, it appears the show must always go on.