Getty images
Source: Getty images

Reba McEntire's Band's Plane Crash, and Other Tragedies That Forever Changed the Lives of Country Stars

Jaimie-lee Prince
May 16, 2019
06:43 P.M.
Share this pen

While country singers are known for their vibrant personalities and positive outlooks, it hasn't all been joyful for the stars. Many of them have had to endure painful tragedies in their lives. 


Thankfully, they oftentimes used their musical talents as an outlet for the sadness that resulted from loves ones who died from illness, accidents, or committed suicide.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire suffered a tremendous loss when eight of her band members died in 1991 as a result of a plane accident. McEntire flew separately and was supposed to meet up with her crew in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Reba McEntire performs at the annual American Country Music Awards | Photo: Getty Images


Her tour manager and seven bandmates all perished just ten miles from Brown Field Municipal Airport where they took off. Two pilots also lost their lives. 

McEntire honors her old friends every year. In March of this year, she commemorated their death with a photo of some clouds and the words, "If I had only known..." written at the forefront. 


George Strait

George Strait also endures unending pain due to the loss of his daughter in 1972. That's the year 13-year-old Jenifer Strait died in a one-car accident in San Marcos, Texas. 

Through his loss, Strait and was motivated to start the Jenifer Lynn Strait Foundation, which collects money to donate to children charities in San Antonio. 

Eddie Montgomery

Eddie Montgomery also lost a child to an accident. Sadly, Hunter Montgomery had battled quite a lot before his untimely death at 19. He was a cancer survivor, a divorcee, and had had to file for bankruptcy. 


He passed away in September 2015, right after becoming a father. He had three siblings by his famous father. 

Loretta Lynn performs onsatge | Photo: Getty Images


Loretta Lynn

Another country singer whose son died was Loretta Lynn. Jack Benny Lynn attempted to cross a river close to his farmhouse, but he couldn't overcome the tough currents. As his mother lay in a hospital being treated for exhaustion, Jack fell victim of the Duck River. He was among five other children through his mother. 

Willie Nelson

Again, another country star lost their son, this time to suicide. Willie Nelson may have had the worst Christmas Day of 1991 as that was the day that he found his son Billy dead. Just 33, he reportedly hung himself after struggling with alcohol abuse. Billy was the son of Martha, Wilson's first wife. The singer pushed through his loss and continued to make music.


Willie Nelson, country singer | Photo: Getty Images

Gary Allan

Gary Allan went through a heart-wrenching loss when his wife Angela Herzberg took her own life in 2004. The two were only married for three years, and Herzberg was just 36 when she used a gun to end her life. 


Her husband and children were all home. Afterward, Allan retreated from the industry to deal with his pain but later re-emerged when he found that music was a great way to ease his heartache. 

Blake Shelton

Now a host on "The Voice," Blake Shelton is among those who suffered a horrible loss, that of his brother. The singer was just 14 years old when his older brother Richie was killed in a car accident. 

Shelton, like his peers, used music to help overcome his grief. Alongside his then-wife Miranda Lambert, he wrote a song called "Over You," about his brother. The song attained great success, and will forever live on as a tribute to Richie, who was just 24 when he passed. 


Blake Shelton, country singer | Photo: Getty Images

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan suffered several losses throughout his lifetime. Like Shelton, he also lost his older brother, Chris, to a car crash when he was 19 years old. Bryan overcame it, starting his music career soon after. 


Many years later though, he lost his 39-year-old sister, Kelly, who died suddenly. Both of his older siblings were gone from his life. Later on, Kelly's husband Ben Lee passed away in 2014. 

Luke Bryan, country singer, performs | Photo: Getty Images

While Bryan lost a lot, he gained one child, Kelly and Ben Lee's. The couple was survived by their three children, and Bryan and his wife took in the youngest, Til. The pair have two sons of their own named Bo and Tate.

Advertisement does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. speaks out against the above mentioned and advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.