Montgomery Gentry singer Troy Gentry was tragically killed in a helicopter crash prior to a planned concert on Friday (Sept. 8). He leaves behind a legacy that has greatly impacted modern country music.

Gentry carved a huge path in country music as half of Montgomery Gentry, a duo that scored a string of hits in the '90s and the 2000s and helped to change the way country music sounded and looked. Gentry's high-octane voice and rocked-up look helped to change not just the sound that country radio would accept, but the imaging that fans would embrace.

He and Eddie Montgomery first teamed up in 1990 when Montgomery started a band called Early Tymz, which included his brother, John Michael Montgomery. John Michael would go on to significant solo success of his own in country music.

The Montgomerys and Gentry later played together in Young Country, with John Michael as the lead singer. After John Michael left for a solo career, Gentry also went solo. He won the Jim Beam National Talent Contest in 1994, but when his ambitions to sign a solo deal did not pan out, he reunited with Eddie Montgomery to form a new duo called Deuce, which became Montgomery Gentry. They signed a deal with Columbia Records Nashville in 1999.

Beginning with their debut album Tattoos & Scars in 1999, Montgomery Gentry scored a long string of hit albums including Carrying On (2001), My Town (2002), You Do Your Thing (2004), Some People Change (2006) and Back When I Knew It All (2008).

Remembering Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry

The duo placed more than 20 hit singles on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts over the years, scoring No. 1 hits with "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," "Lucky Man," "Back When I Knew It All", "Something to Be Proud Of" and "Roll With Me." They scored other Top 10 hits, including "Gone," which reached No. 3 and became the most played country song by a duo in 2005.

By 2011 the duo had begun to run out of commercial steam. They signed with a smaller label, Average Joes Entertainment, and released a well-received album titled Rebels on the Run in 2011, scoring a hit with "Where I Come From." They released a digital EP titled Friends and Family in 2012, and moved to Blaster Records for Folks Like Us in 2015. In 2016 Montgomery Gentry left Blaster Records and returned to Average Joes.

Montgomery Gentry won Duo of the Year at both the CMA Awards and the ACM Awards in 2000, and they were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009 to mark their career accomplishments.

The duo listed Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels and Lynyrd Skynyrd as main influences, and they mixed hardcore country rock and Southern rock on their records and especially in their raucous live shows, becoming a favorite live attraction over their career.

On the personal side, Gentry and his wife Angie married in 1999 and had a daughter, Kaylee, in 2002. Gentry also had a daughter named Taylor from a previous marriage. His family released a statement after he died at the age of 50 in a helicopter crash on Sept. 8, 2017, prior to a scheduled show in New Jersey, thanking fans for their kindness and asking for continued prayers.

"Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time," a representative at Average Joes states.

Both Gentry and Eddie Montgomery were both beset with personal woes over the last few years. Montgomery battled cancer and divorced, then declared bankruptcy. His son died of an overdose in 2015. Gentry's wife Angie battled breast cancer in 2014, and his father died in August of 2016.

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