The past few years have been an especially trying time for the country music community. We’ve had to say goodbye to country legends, such as Merle Haggard, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Don Williams and Mel Tillis. And while every death is equally devastating, it’s especially shocking to lose the younger artists who rose to fame in the ’90s.
Just this year, country fans have suffered the loss of 90s country artists Lari White and Daryle Singletary. Take a look back at the 90s country artists we lost too soon and remember the great music they gave us.
Known for her powerhouse voice, Lari White burned up the country charts with hits like “Now I Know” and “That’s My Baby.” She was also a successful producer and actress, appearing in the 2000 film Cast Away.
Last year, White was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer, which develops in the abdominal lining. In January, White entered a hospice care facility in Nashville, where she passed away surrounded by family and friends. She was 52 years old.
Mindy McCready’s 1996 debut album Ten Thousand Angels spawned four top 20 hits, “Guys Do It All the Time”, “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now,” “A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do,” and the title track.
McCready was unfortunately battling her own demons throughout much of her life. The singer struggled with alcohol and drug addiction and mental illness. In February of 2013, McCready was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She was 37 years old.
Kevin Sharp rose to fame in the mid-90s with his song “Nobody Knows,” a smooth cover of an R&B song originally recorded by Tony Rich.
As a teenager, Sharp survived Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He became a leading spokesperson for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and wrote the 2004 book “Tragedy’s Gift” about his battle with cancer.
Sharp died in 2014 at the age of 43 from complications brought on from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues.
Singer-songwriter Holly Dunn racked up a string of hits in the late ’80s and early ’90s, including her signature song “Daddy’s Hands” and “You Really Had Me Going.”
Dunn died in 2016 at the age of 59 after a battle with ovarian cancer.
Daron Norwood entered the country charts in the early ’90s with two top 30 hits, “If It Wasn’t For Her, I Wouldn’t Have You” and “Cowboys Don’t Cry.”
Norwood left the music industry in the mid-’90s, citing a drinking problem as his reason for quitting the business. In 1997, Norwood founded a youth program called Keep It Straight, an anti-drug, anti-alcohol and anti-violence program.
In 2015, Norwood was found dead in his Texas apartment. The police said there was no sign of foul play. He was 49 years old.
Both a country music and rodeo legend, Chris LeDoux was known for his rich voice and cowboy songs. He gained a significant amount of fame when he was infamously mentioned in the Garth Brooks song “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” but those on the rodeo circuit were already well aware of his voice and music.
In 1991, LeDoux teamed up with Brooks to record the duet “Watcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy,” which went on to become LeDoux’s first and only No. 1 hit. He continued to tour successfully throughout the ’90s, gaining further notoriety for his songs “This Cowboy’s Hat,” “Look at You Girl,” and the Bruce Springsteen cover “Tougher Than the Rest.”
LeDoux passed away in 2005 after a battle with bile duct cancer. He was 56 years old.
Known for his pure country voice and commitment to traditional country music, Daryle Singletary rose to fame with his songs “Too Much Fun,” “I Let Her Lie” and “Amen Kind of Love.”
Singletary died on Feb. 12 at his home in Lebanon, Tenn. He was 46 years old. The cause of death has not been announced.
The country world was hit hard last year by the death of Troy Gentry. As one half of the popular Kentucky country duo Montgomery Gentry, Troy Gentry first entered the country charts with the duo’s debut single “Hillbilly Shoes,” from their debut album Tattoos & Scars. Montgomery Gentry followed up that success with a string of hits, including “Lonely and Gone,” “Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm” and “My Town.”
Gentry died in a helicopter crash in September of 2017. He was 50 years old.