Country music songwriter and performer Kylie Rae Harris, who has tragically died in a crash in New Mexico, leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter. Harris frequently talked about her family and, in fact, she did so in the final hours of her life as she drove to Taos.
Harris, who was from Wylie, TX near Dallas, posted an Instagram story while she was driving on the day she was killed (about two hours before the crash.) The singer died in a three-way crash in New Mexico that authorities there say might have alcohol as a contributing factor (although they didn’t say which driver they think was drinking, Harris had a drunk driving history).
A GoFundMe has been established to help her daughter, Corbie Rae Watkins.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. In the Instagram Story, Kylie Rae Harris Recalled Driving to Taos With Her Father & Sister, Mentioning the Time They Hit a Cow
The Instagram story, coming on the fatal drive as it did, is now heartbreaking to watch.
“I’m alright, I look a mess. It’s because I’ve been crying,” she says, in the car. “It’s okay, though. It’s a good cry. I just got to Taos, New Mexico. And I’m playing this festival here… Literally, everybody that was here has passed away, except for my uncle, and including my dad.” She started to break down and cry. She added, “I’m sorry Instagram.” She added, “I spent the last 20 years of my life coming to Taos with my dad and my sister, my grandparents lived here, my uncle still lives here.”
“Driving these roads today, I’ve been driving for 12 hours, you would think that’s so exhausting and boring. But like the last couple hours driving through the mountains and just remembering my place in the back seat as a little kid when my dad was making these treks here, and I started getting really sad. I started to get real sad, and then all of a sudden these random cows like showed up in the middle of road…” She remembered when she was in the backseat at age 10 or 12 riding with her dad and sister and they hit something “really hard.” They hit a cow, and it was a story they always told.
“I know it’s very depressing… I just started crying and I was sad and all of a suddenly these cows appeared out of nowhere. We grieve differently,” she said. Several hours later, she also was dead.
You can see the Instagram story here. Watch it here:
On September 4, 2019, at 3:05 p.m., she used her iPhone to tweet: “Fuel range is 46 miles and I’m 36 from the nearest gas station. Dear baby Jesus please don’t let me get stranded in NM.” Here’s the tweet:
Harris’s self-titled EP was called Wide Open Country. Her first in 2013, titled Taking It Back, was released to accolades.
2. Harris Lost Her Dad to Cancer & Recently Sang a Song for Her Daughter, Saying She Hoped to Be Around in Twenty Years
According to Billboard, Kylie Rae Harris recorded a song last March that was a prayer for her daughter. “You deserve nothing less than happiness/ And so do I/ Twenty years from now/ My prayer is that somehow/ You’ll forgive all my mistakes and be proud of the choice I made/ God I hope I’m still around/ Twenty years from now,” she sang, according to Billboard. The song was called Twenty Years From Now.
Harris’s dad died at age 54 of cancer a few months before. She realized that some people don’t get to know their parents when they are adults.
“It scared me thinking that it was totally possible I could be gone before my daughter reaches that point,” she told Billboard. “I want to meet my kid’s kids. Getting to the age your parents were when you were a child brings a whole lot of perspective.”
Her daughter’s name was Corbie.
3. Kylie Rae Harris Was Raised In Texas & Said Her Stepfather Introduced Her to ‘Texas-Americana’ Music
An article on do512.com describes how Kyle was raised in Wylie, Texas, which is near Dallas.
Her parents drove an old Chevy Suburban, which was embarrassing to her as a kid but created many memories of road trips.
She attributed her musical tastes, in part, to her stepdad.
“We spent what seemed like hours to a kid in that old Suburban,” she said, according to the article. “My step-dad is a music lover and he was the one who introduced the whole Texas-Americana, singer-songwriter thing to me. It’d be he and my mom in the front seat, and me and my two sisters and brother in the back. He’d put on Radney Foster or Jerry Jeff Walker and we’d sing along to all these different harmony parts. I love that memory.”
4. Kylie Wrote That Her Daughter Was Starting First Grade & Dubbed the Girl Her ‘Golden Child’
Kylie’s Instagram posts are now heartbreaking to read. Three weeks ago, she wrote, “Big week ahead! The kiddo starts 1st grade on Thursday, and then I’m off to the hill country for another weekend of full band shows. Make sure to catch one :)
In a recent video, she wrote that she sang Sheryl Crow songs with her 6-year-old daughter. “Thanks to all who came out and made Corbie feel like a Star ?” she wrote in the caption.
On Corbie’s 5th birthday, Kylie wrote, “my free-spirited golden child! ?”
Corbie’s dad is Jeremy Joe Watkins, of Oklahoma, according to Daily Mail. There were legal filings between Kylie and Jeremy for child support and custody.
5. The Fatal Crash May Be Alcohol-Related, Reports Say
What caused the fatal crash that killed Kylie Rae Harris? Preliminary reports say alcohol might be involved, although it was a three-vehicle crash, and it’s not clear which driver police think was drinking.
Taos News reported that the dead also included a San Cristóbal teenager. The three vehicle crash occurred on State Road 522 Wednesday night (Sept. 4), according to the Taos County Sheriff’s Office. “Alcohol is suspected as contributing to the crash,” reported Taos News.
At that time, the names were not released. The crash occurred at about 9 p.m. on September 4, 2019; the teenage driver was 16 and died at the scene. The third driver was not injured.
Taos News reported that “all drivers involved were wearing seatbelts; however alcohol is suspected as being a factor in the crash.”
Saving Country Music reported that Kylie Rae Harris was a “mother, designer, and one of the most revered songwriters, performers, and women of Texas country music.” She leaves behind a daughter. “Music has always been in me,” Kyle Rae Harris once said, according to Saving Country Music. “I have to do it. This is all or nothing for me. I’m going to be writing and singing music the rest of my life whether I’m broke or not so I might as well go for it.”
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