Bob Kingsley, Legendary Country Radio Personality, Dies at 80

Bob Kingsley, a country radio legend and member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, died on Oct. 17 at his home at Bluestem Ranch in Weatherford, Texas. Kingsley was receiving treatment for bladder cancer. He was 80.

For over 20 years, Kingsley was the host of the nationally syndicated program American Country Countdown. In 2006, established Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 along with his wife Nan Kingsley.

The Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 Facebook page shared a message about Kingsley's lifelong passion for music and radio and his love of all the fans who tuned in to the program.

"His was a life dedicated to telling the stories of the people who make country music--and to celebrating the people who listen to it. His love for the fans was as deep as his love of the singers and songwriters and all those behind the scenes. Every Countdown was a love letter to all of us and all of you who love the music. We bring our condolences and love to his wife of thirty years Nan Kingsley, and we share with all of you our sorrow at his loss."

Kingsley began his radio career while serving in the Air Force in 1959. He began broadcasting at TFK, the Armed Forces Radio Service station in Keflavik, Iceland. He would later work at KGBS, a Los Angeles country station. In 1970, he became program director at KLAC, another Los Angeles station. The legendary radio announcer began producing American Country Countdown, which was originally started by Casey Kasem and Don Bustany, in 1974. In 1978, Kingsley took over as host from the countdown's original host, Don Bowman.

For decades, Kingsley was a beloved and instantly recognizable voice among country music fans and introduced countless country artists to radio listeners. In addition to hosting the countdown, Kingsley hosted several album release specials for artists such as George Strait, Blake Shelton, Alabama, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and more.

In 2001 and 2003, Kingsley won the Country Music Association National Broadcast Personality of the Year. In 2014, he was presented with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award, which is presented annually at the Grand Ole Opry House and benefits the Opry Trust Fund. In 2016, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Music Row reports that Kingsley's passion for radio began when he was a child, when he was bedridden with polio for nearly a year.

Kingsley was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October of 2019.

Billboard reports that a celebration of Kingsley's life will be held at Nashville's CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund in Kingsley's name.

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Bob Kingsley, Legendary Country Radio Personality, Dies at 80