Update: The family of acclaimed singer-songwriter Luke Bell has issued a statement to People following Bell's death at 32.
Bell's family stated they had "lost our beloved son, brother, and friend and we are heartbroken."
"Unfortunately Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father's death in 2015," Bell's family told People. "Luke was supported through his disease by a community of loving family and friends. Despite this, he was unable to receive the help he needed to ease his pain."
Bell's family, who described Luke as having "a gentle heart, a wanderer's spirit and a musical gift that he was fortunate to share with us and the world," said their "hearts go out to the millions of people affected by mental illness who, like us, understand the devastating disappointment of a system that consistently fails to provide caring solutions to those who suffer."
"We are so grateful to his friends and fans for embracing Luke and his music. We would like to thank all of Luke's fans, friends and family who have been sharing stories and photos of happy times with him," they continued.
"As we navigate our heartbreak we respectfully ask for privacy to allow us room to grieve and honor his memory. Our only comfort comes in the fact that our Luke is finally free and at peace."
Bell's friend Matt Kinman first confirmed the news of Bell's death to Saving Country Music, who first reported the news. Saving Country Music first reported that Bell had gone missing in Tucson, Ariz. on Aug. 20. Bell was found on Aug. 29 near the location where he was last seen. The official cause of death has not yet been reported.
The Wyoming-raised artist began performing in local venues in Wyoming before moving to Austin, Texas, where he began performing sets at Hole in the Wall and the White Horse. Bell would later move to Nashville, where he became a staple of the east Nashville music scene. Bell was beloved by fans and peers alike for his traditional country sound and songwriting, which earned him a faithful following at Nashville venues such as Santa's Pub. In 2016, he was signed to Thirty Tigers and released his self-titled album, featuring "Sometimes" and "Where Ya Been."
Artists such as Erin Rae, Joshua Hedley and Margo Price shared tributes to Bell.
"Goddamn, rest east to our dear friend, Luke Bell 💔," Margo Price wrote on Twitter.
Texas-based band Mike and the Moonpies also reflected on meeting Bell for the first time in Austin over ten years ago.
"Word just came down on the passing of Luke Bell and we're heartbroken over the news," the post reads. "I can vividly remember the first time I met Luke at Hole in the Wall over a decade ago, down to the clothes on his back. The man (and his music) left an impression. He was a real deal traveling troubadour out there on that lost highway. Do yourself a favor and put on some Luke Bell tunes tonight in his memory. Rest In Peace, friend."
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on Sept. 2, 2022 to include the statement from Bell's family.
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