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MUSIC WORLD MOURNS DON WILLIAMS, TROY GENTRY

Two major figures in country music, Don Williams and Troy Gentry, have left us.

Williams, who died at age 78 after a brief illness, has influenced multiple generations of artists and songwriters. The Texas-bred Country Music Hall of Famer enjoyed 17 #1 country hits including "It Must Be Love," "I'm Just a Country Boy" and "Tulsa Time." The "Gentle Giant" of country, who won the ACM's Top Male Vocalist honor amd CMA Male Vocalist of the Year five times apiece (among countless other trophies), also starred in several films; he released his final album, Reflections, in 2014.

Gentry, meanwhile, who rose to fame as half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, was killed in a helicopter crash on Friday afternoon; he was 50. As a member of the duo with Eddie Montgomery, Gentry scored a string of #1s ("If You Ever Stop Loving Me" and "Lucky Man" among them), multiple platinum albums, ACM and CMA New Artist awards, CMA Duo of the Year and an induction into the Grand Ole Opry, among other distinctions.

Our condolences to the families of these two well-loved artists; we'll have more in-depth remembrances soon.

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