Country music has lost some amazing writers and musicians as well as genre-creating inspirations this year. Let's take a look at a few of the country artists who passed away in 2018.
Talented songwriter and country singer Daryle Singletary passed away in Nashville, Tenn. on Feb. 12, 2018. He was best known for his '90s hits "I Let Her Lie" and "Too Much Fun," but continued to release music and tour until his untimely death at the age of 46. A cause of death has not been made public.
On Jan. 23, Lari White died after a battle with peritoneal cancer at the age of 52. She released three Top 10 hits, "That's My Baby," "That's How You Know (When You're In Love)"and "Now I Know" in the 1990s. She also appeared in the hit 2000 film Cast Away.
The 64-year-old songwriter, producer, musician and studio owner passed away on April 17 following a brief illness. The middle son of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, Randy started playing instruments at a young age and first appeared on the Flat & Scruggs television show at age 9. Beyond bluegrass, Earl impacted mainstream and roots-based country music as a producer and session musician
Brandon Dean Jenkins, a major figure in Oklahoma's Red Dirt country music community, died on March 2. He was 48 years old. During his time 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. Over the years, he frequently toured Texas and Oklahoma and charted multiple songs on the Texas Music Radio Charts.
Kenny O'Dell passed away on Wednesday, March 28 at the age of 73. O'Dell's landed major success when Charlie Rich recorded his song "Behind Closed Doors" in 1973. As a solo artist, he released several albums on his own in the '60s and '70s with hits like "My Honky Tonk Ways" and "Let's Shake Hands and Come Out Lovin'."
At the age of 96, Glenn Snoddy died in his home in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Snoddy had a profound impact on Nashville music and country and rock in general due to his invention of the Maestro Fuzz-Tone.
Legendary Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana died peacefully at his home on June 13 at the age of 87. Before joining guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black in Presley's backing band the Blue Moon Boys, Dominic Joseph Fontana worked as the house drummer for his hometown of Shreveport's Louisiana Hayride. Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Steve Young, Melba Montgomery, Norma Jean, Vassar Clements, Carl Butler and other folk and country artists.
Mike Kennedy, a longtime drummer in George Strait's Ace in the Hole band, died in a car accident on Aug. 31, 2018. He was 59 years old. Kennedy was a drummer for Strait for over 20 years. In a personal message on his Facebook page, Strait wrote: "Our hearts are broken. It's going to be very strange not being able to look over and see him there in his spot on stage and very emotional as well I'm sure for all of us and also his fans. The band will never be the same. A part of us is gone forever..."
Classic country star Freddie Hart passed away on Oct. 27, 2018 at the age of 91. Hart was best known for his 1971 hit "Easy Loving." Hart was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. He continued to record and tour up until this year and recorded his gospel album God Bless You in 2018.
Country legend, television star and master instrumentalist Roy Clark passed away on Nov. 15, 2018 at the age of 85. The artist was known for his incredible picking skills and for bringing music and humor into the homes of millions on the long-running television show "Hee Haw." Clark was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.