Troy Gentry has died. The co-founder of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry died in a helicopter crash at the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey according to Lex 18. He was 50.
The crash occurred around noon on Friday, September 8th. The other half of the duo, Eddie Montgomery, was not onboard the helicopter. Gentry is survived by his two children, Taylor and Kaylee, and his wife Angie Gentry.
Here’s what you need to know about Angie and her relationship with her late husband:
1. They Were Married in Hawaii in 1999
Gentry was previously married to Kia Gentry. The couple had one child together, a daughter named Taylor. It is unclear when they divorced, but Gentry would go on to wed Angie McClure in Maui, Hawaii on December 14th, 1999 according to The Boot.
In an interview with the Nashville Parent, Gentry discussed how his marriage to Angie helped him mature as both a musician and a man: “I’ve grown up. I’m more responsible now. [Before], the social scene was more important to me. Now, I’d rather be home with my family than out all night. Angie and I have date nights, of course. But I travel a lot for work, so I find comfort here at home.”
In that same interview, the Gentrys listed some of their favorite activities as going to the ballet, theater, and the zoo in Nashville, where they lived together for 18 years. The two were heavily involved in the local Make-a-Wish-Foundation as well, which they felt was a way to center their life around “God, family, and the respect for others.”
Angie discussed the importance that helping others to her and her husband: “When we meet the parents of these sick children, my heart bleeds for their suffering,” she said. “We want to give them some kind of joy and something to look forward to.”
2. They Gave Birth to Their Daughter Kaylee in 2002
The couple welcomed their first and only child together, Kaylee, in 2002. Her name was a combination of both Gentry’s middle names, as the singer explained to The Boot in 2010: “Angie’s middle name is Kay, and my middle name is Lee.”
When asked whether Kaylee might follow in his footsteps, Gentry told Nashville Parent:
She’s been on the tour bus with me since she was born. When she was a baby we took a Pack-N-Play. Then she graduated to a trundle bed. Now we all share a big bed in back. She helps with guitars when it’s time to perform… A lot of kids growing up and seeing their moms and dads in the music industry tend to want to do something musical, too.
But I started out playing in bars and clubs, and I hope she doesn’t have to go through that. I’ll leave it up to her, though. If that’s her dream, I’ll encourage and support her.
As for their daughter’s personality, Angie also attributes that to her late husband: “She’s more like Troy. She can’t sit still. She’s very social. And she loves to perform.”
3. She Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2014
Angie Gentry was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Gentry announced the news on Facebook, posting a picture of the couple with the caption: “My beautiful Angie got a diagnosis from her doctor that has rocked our world a bit over the last few weeks. She has breast cancer – and we wanted you to hear it from us first. She is currently going through chemo treatments and her prognosis is very good. We’d love for you to keep her in your prayers over the next few months.”
Read the full post below.
In an interview with The Tenessean, Angie recounted what it was like breaking the news to her husband on the phone. “I went back in the bedroom. ‘We got the results back. It is cancer.’ You listen, and you listen, and you hang up, and you freak out,” she said. “No matter what, it’s going to be OK,” he assured her.
After going through chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, Angie was cleared of her cancer in 2015.”You could’ve heard me screaming down the street,” she recalled, “Life is better. It’s brighter, it’s greener, it’s bluer, it’s better. Everything’s different now. I get a do-over.”
4. She & Gentry Became Supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness
Angie’s breast cancer wasn’t the first time cancer has struck the Montgomery Gentry family. In 2010, Gentry’s musical partner Eddie Montgomery announced he was battling prostate cancer, which he successfully beat. After her recovery, however, the couple made it a point to raise cancer awareness.
After Angie and Montgomery were diagnosed, Montgomery Gentry launched their ‘Check Your Headlights’ campaign, which was an initiative to raise funds for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. According to Big Frog 104, a portion of the proceeds for the single “Headlights” (listen above) went to the American Cancer Society.
“It’s devastating just to hear the word cancer,” Gentry told The Boot in 2014, “but with today’s technologies, medicines, all that, and having the support of people who have defeated cancer, it’s great to have in your corner.”
5. She Has Yet to Comment on Her Husband’s Death
The official Facebook account for Montgomery Gentry confirmed Gentry’s death. “It is with great sadness that we confirm that Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00pm today in Medford, New Jersey. The duo was scheduled to perform tonight at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford. Troy Gentry was 50 years old.”
The post goes on to say that the “details” of the crash remain unknown,” and that Gentry’s wife and family wish to “acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time.”
Angie has yet to release a statement of her own regarding Gentry’s death.