Brandon Dean Jenkins, a major figure in Oklahoma's Red Dirt country music community, passed away today (March 2). He was 48 years old.
The news was announced via Jenkins' official Facebook page. The Tulsa, Okla. native had been hospitalized in Nashville after undergoing heart surgery. Jenkins' mother, Wilma, had been sharing updates on his condition via his Facebook page over the past few days. On Feb. 24, Wilma explained that her son was in "very critical condition" and asked for fans' continued support.
Known by his nickname "Red Dirt Legend," Jenkins grew up surrounded by music. His uncle, Gordon Shyrock, was a famed bassist and Grammy-winning producer.
But Jenkins' real interest in country music developed when Brandon began his studies at Oklahoma State University. He immersed himself in the local music scene, building close ties with fellow musicians Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue and Cody Canada.
In 2009, he recorded Brothers of the Dirt with Canada, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland and Randy Rogers. He frequently toured Texas and Oklahoma and charted multiple songs on the Texas Music Radio Charts. Jenkins was also a longtime supporter of the Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit which provides support to musicians in need within the Red Dirt community.
Jenkins' final album, Tail Lights in a Boomtown, was released on Feb. 9.