Country Music Champion Wade Jessen Dies

Wade Jessen, Billboard’s senior chart manager, died last night after suffering a massive heart attack.

The 53-year-old died shortly after midnight on Thursday at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn. Jessen oversaw Billboard’s country, bluegrass and gospel charts. Considered one of the most passionate and knowldgeable country music reporters, Jessen also served as a radio announcer for the Willie’s Roadhouse Sirius-XM channel.

“He was always making sure that us people in this remote area of New York knew how different Music Row is and how country music is something that should be treated in a special way, and how people involved in country music are unique in what they do,” said Jessen’s supervisor Silvio Pietroluongo, according to The Tennessean. “Wade was country music’s biggest supporter for everything Billboard touched.”

Several country music stars have taken to social media to share their remembrances for Jessen. Here are few of the recent posts.

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Country Music Champion Wade Jessen Dies